Prairie-grown fruit the tops for cheesecake

Cherry pie filling is available in grocery stores, but the fresh fruit is readily available and can be easily made at home

Prairie grown cherries, strawberries and saskatoons make delicious toppings for a no-bake cheesecake.

I used to buy cherry pie filling, but since it’s been easy to grow them in my backyard, I now make my own pie filling.

It all started when I thickened strawberries to top a cheesecake, and now my family prefers homemade toppings.

For strawberry topping, I just drain the juice from four cups of frozen berries and then add a half cup of sugar and a couple of tablespoons of cornstarch to the juice and cook it in the microwave until it is thick. Then I dump the strawberries back in the thickened juice and let it cool.

I put the fruit on the cheesecake base when I serve it. I find it keeps better that way and keep both refrigerated. 

Cheesecake cake

  • 2 c. graham wafer crumbs
  • 1/2 c. brown sugar
  • 1/2 butter or margarine (melted)
  • 2 – 250 g. packages cream cheese
  • 2 c. icing sugar
  • 1 large tub of Cool Whip

Mix graham wafer crumbs, brown sugar and melted butter together. Pat into a nine by 13 pan. Beat together cream cheese and icing sugar and add Cool Whip. Beat until well mixed. Spread over crust. Top with your favourite topping.

You can use a pint of whipped whipping cream if you prefer instead of Cool Whip to make the cheesecake.

Saskatoon pie fillingor cheesecake topping

  • 4 c. saskatoon berries
  • 2 tbsp. water
  • 2 tbsp. lemon juice
  • 3/4 c. sugar
  • 1 1/2 tbsp. quick cooking tapioca (or cornstarch)
  • 1 ttbsp. butter

Over low heat, simmer together berries, water and lemon juice, covered, for three to four minutes. Remove from heat and stir in sugar, tapioca and butter.

For a cheesecake topping, I use cornstarch and cook until thick.

Homemade Evanscherry pie filling

  • 4 c. cherries fresh or frozen
  • 1 1/2 c. sugar
  • 3 tbsp. cornstarch
  • 1/4 c. water (no water if cherries are frozen)

Cook cherries for a few minutes in water. Mix sugar and cornstarch together and add to cherries. Stir well when adding it and stir until thick and clear. It will thicken more when it cools.

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