Cheesecake is not REALLY a cake; it’s actually a cream and egg-based custard, a pie-like dessert if you will. I remember the first time I had a piece (notice I didn’t say slice) of “non-traditional” cheesecake, from a rectangular baking pan. On one of the first holidays, before we were married, Nick told me that his Mom was making cheesecake for dessert that night. I, of course, asked what “kind” of cheesecake. The dreaded words came out of his mouth, “cherry.”
I’m pretty sure my nose immediately curled up. Yuck, I hated cherries. The only thing cherry I had ever had were the little maraschino cherries in a Shirley Temple drink as a kid. My Dad used to eat the cherry on the little pirate sword because I hated them so much. As I’m typing this, I imagine those overpoweringly sweet, juice-filled, artificial red blobs. Ish. So cherry cheesecake, why would one waste a perfectly good cheesecake by slathering those disgusting little cherries all over the top.
Nick’s Mom prefers to serve from the kitchen, then deliver the plated entree or dessert directly to you in the dining room. So, I didn’t see the receptacle housing the cheesecake, but I did make a special request to have all cherry blobs removed from my serving. I’m sure Nick’s family thought I was a being a bit over the top, but they politely smiled and asked, “oh, you don’t like cherries?”
Boy, was I surprised when I looked down to see a square-shaped piece of cheesecake! Now the cherry blobs had been removed, but a square? I know what you’re thinking, “beggers can’t be choosers, Danielle.” Well, you’re not wrong, but, I was initially appalled. Who makes cheesecake in a baking pan? It turns out; there was a method to her madness. Nick, his brother, and Dad all indulged in two pieces of cheesecake when she made it. If you consider the math of a traditional round pie plate, there would have been two slices left. Exactly, one slice for me and one for his Mom and ZERO leftovers. So, Susan if you’re reading this, I’m sorry for my initial judgement. Your idea was actually brilliant and I was too naive to recognize it!
When it comes to dessert, there better be some dang leftovers to be had considering the amount of time and energy that goes into baking! So, here I am, defying the shape of cheesecake myself. The other day when I concocted this recipe, I was also interested in challenging the portion size of a traditional cheesecake. My theory was that if I used muffin tins, I could create proper portion control AND still have a few leftovers. It worked fabulously well, and I’m excited to share it with you.
As for the cherries, about ten years ago, a local friend offered me a fresh Washington cherry from his lunchbox while Nick and I were out fishing with him. The dark red flesh and perky green stem looked tantalizing. My gut told me, no, but my eyes told me, yes, and before I could even realize it, I uttered “sure.”
Nick knew I hated them, so he reminded me they had a pit. I’m thankful for that because I’m pretty sure I would have broken a tooth that afternoon biting down on fruit I thought I hated. That would have been an interesting story to tell though. It turns out the cherry was delicious! He offered several more, and I obliged. Later, on the way home, Nick gave me the side-eye and ridiculed me for avoiding cherries my entire life. I can still hear him saying, “I thought you didn’t like cherries?”
If you’ve gotten this far, go to your refrigerator now, and set your cream cheese out. Microwaving cream cheese won’t make this recipe “the cherry on the top!”
So tell me, are you a cherry or blueberry cheesecake person?
Blueberry Protein Cheesecakes
- 80 g quick oats
- 48 g raw almonds
- 48 g raw walnuts
- 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
- 8 oz reduced fat cream cheese
- 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1.5 scoops blueberry cheesecake protein (or any vanilla can be used) (Bowmar Nutrition)
- 2 TBSP almond flour
- 3 TBSP stevia sweetener (or honey)
- 1 cup fresh blueberries
- 12 TBSP seedless blackberry jam
- Heat the oven to 300 degrees
- Place the oats, almonds, and walnuts in the food processor, blend until a crumb like texture forms
- Add the unsweetened applesauce into the processor, until a sticky crust forms
- Line a 12 serving muffin tin with cupcake liners, spray with non-stick spray
- Evenly divide the crust between the 12 liners, then bake the crusts for approximately 9 minutes until just slightly brown
- Rinse out the food processor and combine the cream cheese, yogurt, eggs, vanilla extract, almond flour, and stevia, process until smooth
- Then add in the protein powder and blend again
- Remove the filling from the food processor, place in a mixing bowl, and gently stir in½ cup fresh blueberries
- Evenly divide the batter between the 12 liners
- Bake the cheesecakes for approximately 20 to 25 minutes until the tops begin to brown, use a toothpick to ensure the center is set, bake longer if needed
- Coolthe cheesecakes in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours
- Place 12 TBSP of jam in a small bowl, using a whisk, gently mix the jam up to softenit
- Top each cheesecake with 1 TBSP of jam, spreading it out well over the top, thenesprinkle the remaining ½ cup of fresh blueberries on top of the jam
- Store any leftovers in the fridge
Did you make this recipe? Be sure to tag me @danielle_s_abel so I can see your creation!