Remember that post I did on some of my recipe fails?? When I started making my own jam for the filling of these mini cheesecakes, I was super close to adding another entry to that list! Everything was going swimmingly until.....I decided to add more cornstarch! My jam wasn't thickening fast enough and I was in a hurry because I had to bring these babies to my sister-in-law's house. With just the slightest shake from the box, an avalanche of cornstarch clumps dumped into the hot strawberry slurry. I was left absolutely stunned. Crap crap CRAAAP!! I tried to push the jam through a fine mesh sieve to save it, but no dice. I learned a good lesson: Always measure/sift your cornstarch in advance. Have a little on the side or maybe even mix it with water so you have your thickening agent ready to go just in case you need it! I mean... I already knew that but...I get a little impatient in the kitchen sometimes.
What does one do in a such a desperate situation? QUICK! Time is limited and your strawberry supply has dwindled! Buy a dessert from the store? HELL to the NO! Run to the fridge and pull out some strawberry jam?! YES!! It will totally save your ass. It saved mine.
As I took my first bite to test my improv, I closed my eyes and was instantly beamed onto the steps of my back porch. If I remember correctly, I was wearing a cute sundress from anthropologie paired with flip flops and freshly pedicured toes. I was dipping a buttery graham cracker into a creamy sweet strawberry milkshake and it was hot outside. Yes...these little cheesecakes brought that summery feeling I've been so desperate for. I'm sooo over thick winters sweaters and boots right now. Aren't you? If you wanna go ahead and make your own jam for this recipe, DO IT. You'll totally get extra credit points...but then I might call you teacher's pet. BTW! There's something brown on your nose!
And we're off!
It all begins with graham crackers....
They both get whirled up to pieces in a food processor with some sugar.
Get your cupcake liners ready in a muffin tin.... your crumb mixture is done.
Drop a few spoon fulls into each wrapper.
Press the crumbs into the wrappers and bake in the oven.
Start making the filling. It all starts with cream cheese.
Whip it with vanilla & confectioners sugar.
Add in your strawberry jam & whip it real good.
So pretty in pink.
Make your whipped cream.... and fold it into the cream cheese mixture!
Take about 6-8 strawberries and cut them up!
Fold the strawberries into the filling. You should cut them up smaller than I did.
And then fill the cooled graham cracker crusts. Smooth the tops with a knife or off-set spatula.
Place a strawberry on top....
And get ready....
Because flip flop weather is just around the corner and you are SOOO gonna be eating this all summer.
Mini Strawberry Cheesecakes
Makes 10 (I made 11, but I think it's cuz I skimped on 1)
(recipe adapted from this one)
For the crust:
- 1 1/2 cups graham cracker (from about 10-12 cookies)
- 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon course salt
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter (I used salted!)
For the filling:
- 1 package cream cheese (8oz.) at room temperature
- 1/2 cup confectioner's sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup cold heavy cream
- 6 tablespoons strawberry jam (make them heaping tablespoons!)
- 6-8 strawberries, cut into small chunks
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line 10 standard muffin cups with cupcake liners. In a food processor, pulse together the graham crackers and granulated sugar. Now add the salt & butter and pulse until combined. Divide crumb mixture among cupcake liners, firmly pressing into bottoms and up the sides. Baked until crusts are browned and fragrant, about 10-12 minutes. Let cool completely in a pan on a wire wrack at room temperature.
In a medium bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese on high until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the confectioner's sugar, strawberry jam and vanilla extract and beat until smooth. In another medium bowl, with clean beaters, beat the heavy cream on high until stiff peaks form, about 2 to 3 minutes. Gently fold the whipped cream into the strawberry cream cheese mixture 1/3 at a time. Then carefully fold in the cut up strawberries. Divide mixture among the cooled crusts and refrigerate until set, 1 hour or up to overnight. To serve, top with a slice of strawberry.