Monday, May 21, 2012



Cream cheese is one of my favorite ingredients to bake with since it’s so versatile.  It can create very tasty savory recipes  -  for example -  Crab Puffs,  to amazing sweet recipes like my RASPBERRY CREAM CHEESE TART. 
This recipe is actually a take on a recipe my Tia Conchi makes for Christmas.  A very basic cheesecake filling supported by a delicious graham cracker crust.   I decided to make this into a tart since I love cheese cake, but sometimes it is just too much all at once.   By making it as a tart, you get to enjoy the whole idea of cheesecake without having to eat a huge slice of it.  Trust me, there are days when I want that thick slice of cheesecake, but for those days I want just a bite …… this is the perfect recipe.   I have added fresh raspberries, since cheesecake and raspberries are a great combination.  I think the picture speaks for itself, it’s creamy and sweet with a burst of freshness from the berries.  
Happy Cooking Everyone!

Ingredients for the crust:
1 ½ cup crushed graham crackers (about one pack from the box)
6 tablespoon melted butter
1/3 cup sugar
A pinch of nutmeg (optional)
Ingredients for the filling:
2 - 8oz packs of cream cheese
3 large eggs
¼  cup sugar
1 can of sweetened condensed milk (NOT evaporated)
2 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice (about 1 lemon)
½ teaspoon vanilla
1 pint fresh raspberries
1 -10 inch tart pan

Temp for crust: 375 degrees
1.       Using a food processor, crush the graham crackers until they are a fine crumb. (note, if you do not have a food processor, take a large plastic bag, add the graham crackers, remove air from bag and seal.  Using a rolling pin, roll over the crackers until they are crushed to a small crumb)
2.       Add the melted butter, sugar and nutmeg. Pulse until well blended.
3.       Pour crust mixture into tart pan.  Using your fingers, spread mixture until the bottom of the tart pan is covered.  Press softly.
4.       Bake at 375 for 8 minutes, crust will appear golden brown
5.       Cool crust while you make the filling
Oven Temp for tart: 350 degrees
6.       In a large bowl, beat together the cream cheese using a hand mixer for about 2 minutes until it is creamy.
7.       Add eggs to cream cheese mixture, one egg at a time until all eggs are well incorporated.
8.       Beat in sugar and sweetened condensed milk.
9.       Add lemon juice and vanilla.  Beat until blended.  Mixture will have the consistency of yogurt.
10.   Pour cream cheese mixture over graham cracker crust.
11.   Place individual raspberries into the cream cheese mixture going in a circle about every two inches (tops will show) .
12.   Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes (until the center is set)
13.   Turn oven off and prop open oven door with a wooden spoon.   Leave in oven for 1 hour.

14.   Remove from oven and cool for another 30 minutes.
15.   Refrigerate.

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