The idea for this use of the filling from the creamy cherry cheese pie came about when I was looking for a quick dessert. I noticed the premade creamy cheesecake filling at the grocery, took one look at the price, and decided that was not for my budget!
However, I also realized I could make my own and have it ready to be used in a variety of ways. In this case... a parfait with all the tastes of the original cherry cheesecake pie. This can be made two or three days ahead and stored in the refigerator as long as it is in a container with a tightly fitting lid (like Tupperware).
I used Comstock cherry pie filling and crushed graham crackers but really, the ingredients can be as interesting as your imagination. I can easily see fresh fruit used or a homemade pie filling, too.
I'd say if used as a parfait, one recipe can feed four people but if the cheesecake filling is spooned into a smaller dessert dish... it will feed many more.
The recipe is very easily doubled.
Creamy cheesecake parfait (as shown)
1 (8 oz.) pkg. cream cheese (room temperature)
1 1/3 c. (15 oz. can) sweetened condensed milk (chilled when possible)
1/3 c. lemon juice (fresh or bottled)*
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 (22 oz.) can prepared cherry pie filling (can use other fruit pie filling or fresh fruit)
Graham cracker crumbs
*I have made the filling with the bottled key lime juice before and served without fruit filling.
Let cream cheese stand at room temperature until softened; beat until fluffy. I usually set it on the kitchen counter before going to bed at night if I know I'm using it in a recipe the next day.
Gradually add condensed milk until thoroughly mixed.
Add lemon juice and vanilla extract and whip for a few minutes.
Whipping awhile is really the secret to a light and fluffy filling.
Pour into container with tight fitting lid and refrigerate at least three or four hours... up to a few days. You may have to "fluff" with a fork if it has set awhile.
To make parfait as shown, simply layer the fruit and graham cracker crumbs with the creamy cheesecake mixture.
It can also be spooned into a small dessert dish or a pre-made graham cracker crust tart. Yum... so many options.
Refrigerate dessert before serving.