There are certain recipes that can take you back to a simpler time, reminding you of sweet summer sunshine, lightning bugs, family dinners, and childlike giddiness. This is one of those recipes for me.
My Bubbie & Nana, my grandmother and great-grandmother on my dad’s side, respectively, were two of the most influential women in my life growing up. In the true Italian grandma tradition, wherever they were, so was food. I can’t recall a single memory that doesn’t have at least one butter cookie or loaf of banana bread lurking in the background. My dad and I both loved this blackberry cheesecake dessert recipe that Bubbie used to make in the summer, and since I hadn’t had it in years, I decided to give it a whirl. It’s an easy-to-make recipe that tastes like a fruity cheesecake without actually being a cheesecake.
Ironically, there’s a bit of debate between my dad and I as to whether the fruit topping Bubbie always used was blackberry or black raspberry; when I looked at the recipe card, it said blueberry, for crying out loud, a fruit neither of us really care for. Who the hell knows what we used to eat, haha. Ah, how funny memories can be.
If anyone can find black raspberry pie filling, more power to you/send me some, please. We haven’t been able to locate it in years.
Sadly, Nana passed away when I was 18 (herself at the glorious age of 99 years young), and although Bubbie is still kickin’ (at 90), she doesn’t bake anymore. Having this recipe and making this dessert is a way for all of us to remember the good times, and I wanted to share the warm fuzzies and the recipe with you.
Blackberry Cheesecake Dessert Recipe
Blackberry Cheesecake Dessert
An easy summer dessert that tastes like a fruity cheesecake without all of the effort.
- 2 cups graham cracker crumbs
- 1 stick of melted margarine OR butter (you can use whatever you prefer; Bubbie’s recipe called for Oleo, a margarine – in true throwback fashion – but I prefer butter)
- 3/4 cup sugar; divided into 1/4 cup and 1/2 cup
- 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 2 eggs
- 1 large can blackberry pie filling
- Whipped topping, such as Cool Whip
- Glass 8 x 12 baking dish
- Mixing bowl and mixer
- Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Melt butter or margarine in the microwave for 15-20 seconds.
- Combine the 2 cups of graham cracker crumbs, the melted butter or margarine, and 1/4 cup of the sugar in a bowl and mix with your hands/a fork until well-combined. Reserve 1/4 cup of the mixture; set aside.
- Press the remaining graham cracker crumb mixture on the bottom of the glass baking dish, creating a crust.
- Using your mixer, cream remaining 1/2 cup of sugar with the cream cheese until well blended, then add 2 eggs, one at a time. Mix well until there are no lumps and the mixture is smooth.
- Pour the cream cheese mixture over the crust to form a thin layer in the glass baking dish, and bake for 20 minutes at 350 degrees until well set. Similar to a traditional cheesecake, the top will puff and rise. It’s ok if it cracks; you will be covering it up with fruit.
- Once the “cheesecake” has baked well enough, cool for about one hour on the counter.
- Once cool, pour the blackberry pie filling over the top of the cake, spreading evenly. Then add the Cool Whip or whipped topping over the fruit layer.
- Sprinkle whipped topping with remaining graham cracker crumb mixture.
- Chill before serving. Store covered, in the refrigerator.
I remember eating this often at Easter and all throughout the summer. I hope to try it with red raspberries at some point, and I’m sure it’s probably delicious with cherry pie filling, too. If you try it and customize it, I’d love to hear how it turns out!