The 4th of July Holiday is upon us and love taking that time to create bright colored foods using red, white and blue colors! I wanted to create a dessert that was cold, easy to prepare, and could be made the night before. So with loving me some cheesecake like I do, as well as Mr. Tiger himself, this gave me the perfect reason, well excuse to try my hand at making an easy version parfait style. I also wanted to make something that was dairy free and lactose free friendly!
This holiday gave me a reason to play with the natural colors of food. I wanted to honor the natural colors and flavors that come from using fruit in season. When you do this you don’t have to make things taste like they are in season. These are super easy and can simply be made with just creating the cheesecakes layer and adding in fresh fruit as it is. Here is what you need to get to cooking.
Let’s Get To Cooking
To get started you want to start with making the blueberry layer so it has time to cool and thicken as it cools down and sets. You can make each layer the night before and assemble them the next day as well. These also do well making the night before, but I would recommend eating them within 3 days as the juices from the layers will be absorbed by the graham cracker layer.
Blueberry Layer (Blue Layer)
- Add 1/3 cup of cold water, 1/2 tablespoon lemon juice, 3 tablespoons of maple syrup, and 1 tablespoon of corn starch to a sauce pan, stirring to combine making sure that the cornstarch has dissolved.
- Add sauce pan on the heat to medium high heat covering until mixture comes to a boil.
- One the blueberry sauce has come to a boil stir in the 2 cups of blueberries to the sauce pan removing the lid.
- Allow the blueberry sauce to slowly simmer until thickened for about 5-10 minutes
- Remove from heat and allow to thicken.
- Once sauce has cooled down blend the sauce until smooth and creamy, using a hand emersion stick blender, mini food processor, or a stand blender.
- If you prefer to have whole blueberries add in an additional 1/2 cup to the sauce.
- Note: this layer needs to be completely cooled before you assemble your parfait layers.
Cheesecake Layer (White Layer)
- In a large bowl add the cream cheese, whipping cream, sugar, vanilla flavoring, and lemon zest.
- Using a hand mixer beat on high for about 3-5 minutes until the mixture has thickened.
Strawberry Layer (Red Layer)
- Finely dice, slice, chop strawberries into bit size pieces.
- Note: I like them to be in smaller pieces so they are easier to scoop out with a spoon.
- Add 1/2 tsp maple syrup to the strawberries and mix to combine.
- Note: you can leave out the maple syrup if you are trying to watch the sugar in this recipe. I added it for that extra boost of maple flavor.
Crust Layer (Botton Layer)
- Crush graham crackers to fine powder, I used a rolling pin to crush the cookie up.
- Toast the pecans over medium to low heat in a pan for about 5 minutes continuing to move pan around so the nuts don’t burn.
- Using the same rolling pin used for the graham crackers, crush the nuts until they are similar in size and texture as the graham crackers.
- Stir to combine the two together.
Let’s Get Layering
- Using 4 small mason jars (I used 8 ounce size jars) divide the crust layer into the bottom of each jar, pressing the mixture firmly into the bottom of the jar.
- Top with your fruit layer of choice adding on top of the crust layer equally between the four jars.
- Top with the cheesecake layer dividing equally between the four jars.
- Top with the final fruit layer equally between the four jars.
- Seal with a lid and allow to set for about an hour if not overnight.
I hope you enjoy these REALLY creamy, indulgent cheesecake parfaits. Added bonus is to try to use fruit in season and local in your area. I used Georgia grown strawberries and blueberries are from my very own blueberry bushes. Happy Red White and Blue!
Tiger’s Feeding Feedback
Cheesecake…I renamed this dish “Creamy Crack” because I ended up eating the whole thing after trying to save a little for later. I put it in the fridge to let it cool. I took a spoon and made sure I mixed it up real good. The mixture of all those ingredients was so good! I think you tricked me because although it was so good…I can tell it was healthy but yet satisfied my need for sugar! You a genius!!!