Monday, January 12, 2015

Cherry Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Crisp Pie

This is really good stuff! I'm trying to kind of kill two birds with one stone with this dessert. One of my all time favorite flavor combinations is cherry and chocolate, chocolate and cherry, throw in some cheesecake and crunchy, and I am approaching Nirvana!
And I even know when this addiction started. 1968. I know I'm dating myself, but that's when it was. It's the first year I was a cheerleader and after every game we went out for hot chocolate and pie, and cherry pie was always my choice. So for years I've been looking to satisfy that cherry chocolate craving! This pie does it!
The other thing I'm doing is trying to clear out the remnants of my holiday baking adventures. I've got lots of bits and pieces that need to be used up. And this does that too. It's a little ingredient intensive, so make all the substitutions you'd like, and at the end, I'll show you how to make a "no bake" version for summer when it's too hot to have the oven on!
And because I'm using up leftovers, I will include notes as I go along.
Crust Layer:
     1 pie crust for 8-9 inch pie
          I had a frozen pre-made crust, originally this was just going to be a plain ol' cherry pie but it turns out one of those crusts was actually puff pastry! So today, it's a singe crust pie. If you don't have a frozen one, you can always make your favorite from scratch.
Cherry Layers:
     1 can cherry pie filling
Cheesecake Layer:
     1 8 oz. block cream cheese, warmed
     1 egg
     1/4 cup white sugar or sugar substitute
     1/2 teaspoon vanilla
     1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
Crisp Layer:
     3/4 cup packed brown sugar
     1/2 cup all purpose flour
     1/2 cup oats, quick cooking or old fashioned
     1/2 cup rice chex, crushed, totally optional
     1/3 cup margarine or butter, softened
     3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
     3/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
          This is straight from a Betty Crocker recipe for apple crisp, and I will include a link. When I found out I only had one crust I had to have something to put on the top!
Let's put it all together! Step by step, make all the changes you need to along the way! Pre-heat your oven to 375.
Put your pie crust in your pie pan, and prick the bottom. I'm using an 8" pie pan. I did not grease, spray or oil the pan.
Now let's make the crisp part, because it sits well.
Put all the crisp ingredients in a small mixing bowl. I cut the butter into small cubes.

This is my secret ingredient, Rice Chex. It adds some crunch without really adding any distinct flavor. I have half a box of this cereal I need to use up, left over from some trail mix we made. It's totally optional. Just make sure to crush it all up before you add it in.

Now mix it all up and set it aside.
Time to start the cheesecake mixture.

I had two open packs of cream cheese and decided to use them both up. An 8oz. block would be optimum, but any where from 4-12 oz. will work in this recipe.
Put them in a bowl and microwave the cream cheese until it just starts to melt. Using a mixer, whip it until it's smooth and fluffy. Next I will add the rest of the cheesecake layer ingredients.
Today I'm using this. When I bought it, I thought I was getting straight up Truvia, I didn't realize it was a blend. So I want to get this used up so that I can go get some more! You can use just plain white sugar.
In it goes, 1/4 cup
One farm fresh egg goes in next, store eggs work too!
Next is the vanilla, I brew my own. This one is made with vodka and Grade AB split vanilla beans. I've got four separate brews going, I'll tell you about them next week.
In the bowl with everything else. Now once again, mix it until it's smooth and creamy.
Now let's add some chocolate chips, this is what I'm using. You can use what you have on hand, you'll need half a cup.
I started with a quarter cup, but decided I needed more!

So there's half a cup, just stir them in.
Now let's get it all assembled.
Pour half the cherry pie filling in the pie shell.

Now pour in the cheesecake mix.

Top that with the rest of the pie filling as best you can.

Sprinkle on the crisp layer.

In the oven it goes. I put mine on a cookie sheet because I was afraid it was going to run over, and it's just too cold to open my windows and clean the oven.

After 15 minutes it looked like this.

After 30 minutes it looked like this and I took it out of the oven. You can serve it warm or let it cool completely. But in any case, serve it with your favorite topping, whipped cream, cool whip or vanilla ice cream. Enjoy!
This really is good!

Now if you want this and it's too hot to have an oven on, use a crust like this

or this

And make this your cheesecake filling. Let it set up in either the frig or the freezer. Don't forget to add the chocolate chips!
I hope you all enjoy this one. The link to the Betty Crocker recipe I used for the crisp topping is here:


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