Patriotic Pleaser

What would an Independence Day gathering be without a red, white & blue cake? Or a patriotic Jell-O mold? You know what I’m talking about — those creations that form a flag from whipped cream and berries.

Well, lately I’ve been inundated by dessert recipes — sent by PR concerns — that have a patriotic theme, most often carried out in such a berry motif. If you don’t want to make a cake or gelatin mold, how about a cheesecake? This recipe came from Nestle.

Patriotic Cheesecake Pie

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9-inch deep-dish pie dish.

For crust, in the pie dish combine 1½ cups finely ground gingersnap cookie crumbs (about 30 2-inch cookies), 2 tablespoons granulated sugar and 1/3 cup melted butter. Press mixture onto bottom and up sides of prepared dish. Bake for 8 minutes. Cool completely.

For filling, in blender combine one 12-ounce can evaporated milk, 1 ½ packages (12 ounces) cream cheese, at room temperature, 2 large eggs, ¾ cup granulated sugar, ¼ cup flour and 1 tablespoon grated lemon zest. Cover and blend until smooth. Pour into pre-pared pie crust.

Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until center is set. Cool completely, then refrigerate for at least 3 hours.

On top of pie, arrange 2 cups pitted fresh cherries and mixed berries (don’t forget the blueberries or it won’t be patriotic!) Warm 3 tablespoons cherry, raspberry or strawberry jam and drizzle over top.