Friday, July 2, 2010

Guest Blog: Trading Slip-and-Slides for Cheesecake and Other Festive Adulthood Delights

One of our sassiest guest bloggers, Danna Belski, is back with a short little ditty that is sure to make fireworks the SECOND best part of your Fourth of July holiday. I had the distinct pleasure of eating this creamy delight today and let me tell you, it was i-n-c-r-e-d-i-b-l-e. I would make it myself, but luckily I have my red-headed-Pittsburgher (Pittsburgher? Is that right?) who is a great chef and is also a great friend who shares.

And speaking of sharing, I have done a guest blog over at Nicole's fabulous and highly entertaining The Fickle Nickle which involves 4th of July cupcakes and a bit of analysis about adulthood. Check it out!

But now, without further ado, I give you…

Trading Slip-and-Slides for Cheesecake and Other Festive Adulthood Delights

By Danna Belski

Remember those Fourth of July picnics you went to as a kid? When your objectives were to eat as many hot dogs and popsicles as possible, and stay awake till fireworks? Those were the days: you did not wear shoes, you did wear your bathing suit all day, the hose to the slip-and-slide never turned off, and your favorite aunt would bring over sparklers and then your mom would get mad. Well, we all still go to those picnics -- only now that you’re all grown up your responsibilities have changed a bit: you are going to have to make something. Don’t panic. This recipe is easy, impressive, and is appropriately patriotic. Now go out there and remember what we have now that we didn’t have back then…beer! Happy 4th of July!

• 6 graham crackers (2 1/2 by 5 inches each)
• 1/3 cup whole almonds
• 1 1/4 cups sugar
• 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
• 2 bars (8 ounces each) reduced-fat cream cheese, room temperature
• 1/2 cup reduced-fat sour cream
• 1 large egg
• 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
• Pinch salt
• 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
• 1 carton of red fruit: strawberries or raspberries or both!
• 1 pint (2 cups) blueberries


1. Make crust: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a food processor, grind graham crackers, almonds, and 1/4 cup sugar until finely ground; add butter, and process until moistened. Transfer to a 9-inch removable-bottom tart pan. Using the base of a dry measuring cup, press mixture firmly into the bottom and up sides of pan. Freeze at least 15 minutes.

2. Make filling and bake: Switch to dough blade. Carefully wipe processor blade and bowl clean. Place cream cheese, sour cream, 1/2 cup sugar, egg, vanilla, and salt in food processor; blend just until smooth. Place tart pan on a rimmed baking sheet; fill with cheesecake mixture. Bake until filling is just set, 30 to 35 minutes. Transfer tart pan to a wire rack to cool completely.

3. Meanwhile, make topping: In a medium saucepan, combine red fruit, 1/2 cup sugar, and lemon juice. Cook at a rapid simmer over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, until mixture is jamlike and moves around pan in a single mass when stirred, 15 to 25 minutes. Reserve 1 tablespoon cooking liquid (no solids) for blueberries; cool remaining plum mixture.

4. Assemble tart: Leaving a 1-inch border, spread cooled red fruit mixture over tart. Reheat reserved red fruit liquid (on stove or in microwave) until liquefied. In a medium bowl, combine with blueberries, and scatter on top of red fruit mixture. Chill until ready to serve, at least 2 hours and up to 1 day. Remove from pan before serving.

1 comment:

  1. Hah. I grew up in the post-slip and slide heyday where they were known as dangerous, limb-mangling death traps. So, the imagery of your opening is lost on me... but the tart isn't!