No Bake Mulberry Cheesecake

There’s an old English nursery song that I always think of when I see mulberries.

I guess it was this little ditty that gave me the false idea that mulberries grow on bushes. Nice little bushes that can be reached from the ground and even a child could go out and pick them.

I don’t think I even laid eyes on a real mulberry until I was well past nine years old. That changed when we moved out in the country and found several large TREES with blackberry-looking-things growing on them. We tried gathering these berries a few different ways, one of which was laying sheets under the tree and shaking the trunk with the tractor. It wasn’t very successful. We gave up after a year or two.

I hate it when the mulberries ripen, because it seems like such a waste not to gather them. The winds blow them down and they quickly get trampled by people and animals alike. This year, there were so many and they looked so good that I had to try again.

For the first picking I lugged Dad’s three-legged ladder over and pulled the branches over my head so I could reach the lowest ones. That yielded about 3 cups, some very stained fingers and a purple step ladder. The second time, I climbed into the tractor bucket and Anna lifted, lowered and moved me about to the best places. We got four cups from that. Not bad, really, but nothing compared to the amount of berries left on the tree high up in the branches.  Oh well! We couldn’t reach them anyway.

Now the question was, what to do with them?  I learned from previous experience that mulberries mold very quickly – within three days if chilled, so I had to use them fast.

I just have this thing with berries and cheesecake…Sorry, I know it’s not very original, but it’s just so good! This one happens to be gluten free (though I never even thought about that when I made it) and is sweetened with coconut sugar and raw honey. You could almost say it was a raw food cheesecake…if you used raw cream cheese and cream. Unfortunately, I didn’t have that on hand.

The crust –

1 c. almonds

1 c. unsweetened coconut

3 T. coconut oil or butter

3 T. coconut sugar

1/4 t. cinnamon (optional)

Blend almonds and coconut in processor until nuts are fine. Add sugar and coconut oil. If it doesn’t hold together when you pinch it, add a little more oil or butter. Pat into a 9 inch cheesecake pan.

The filling –

16 oz cream cheese

1/2 c. honey

1 T. vanilla

1/2 c. cream

Whip together on high until combined and the cream thickens. Spoon half of mixture onto crust. Layer 1 – 2 cups of mulberries over the top and repeat with remaining cream cheese mixture and berries. Chill and serve.

My Dad loves crust. So do I. Crust makes cheesecake what it is…in my opinion. :D

Cutting into it marbled the colors. Yum!

If you happen to have mulberries and happen to want to pick them and happen to make this cheesecake and happen to have leftovers, you MUST eat them the next day. Trust me on this. I saved mine for the day after the next day and the berries were already going bad. Sadness…

I’m glad I tried to be resourceful and pick the mulberries again this year, but you know what? I think it will be another decade or so before I feel bad about it again.

Raspberry Cheesecake again…

I’m sure no one will complain though, right?

 I didn’t think so. :D

I am worse than horrible about carrying a camera around with me and getting pictures of places I’ve been and people I’m with.
I really wanted a pic with Caleb when he came up to visit. 
And I really wanted a picture of the raspberry patch that we raided on our way back from the river with friends. 
I really wanted a picture with those friends on the river and all the crazy stuff they were doing behind the boat. 
I wish I could have had a picture of me and Caleb being ejected off the jet ski – I’m sure Caleb’s face was priceless. :P 
The list goes on…and you would think I’d learn, right? Like I said,  I’m horrible.
However,  I do have raspberries that said friends sent home with me – and apricots – and lots of good memories.
I made Apricot Puree with most of the apricots. 

Mandy and I plan to make almond waffles for breakfast some morning to go with it and that will be amazing. The rest I froze for Apricot Orange Smoothies and just ate plain by the handful because they were just that good.
For some odd reason  raspberries just scream “cheesecake!” loud and clear to me. I don’t know why. It’s weird. They usually get their way…that’s not good is it? I mean, what will I be like as a parent? Yikes…

 Anyway, this time I blended those delightful berries into the cream cheese filling. It was hard at first – they were so good just by themselves,  but the results were totally worth it. Totally.
Crust –
1 – 9oz. box lemon cookies
3 T. butter
1/3 c. almonds, finely ground
1/2 t. lemon zest
2 T. sugar
Filling – 
4 8oz. pkg. cream cheese
1/2 c. yogurt
3 eggs
1 c. sugar
remaining zest from lemon
1 t. vanilla
1 c. fresh raspberries, though I believe frozen would work as well – thaw first

Grind cookies and almonds together in a blender or food processor. I used Back to Nature brand – California Lemon. They are yummy! Melt butter and add to crumbs along with lemon zest and sugar. Mix well and press into a spring form cheesecake plan.

Blend cream cheese (Philadelphia original – use anything else and I won’t guarantee that it will taste good. :P I’m picky about brands…another weird fact about me. Not that you needed any more of those…),  yogurt, sugar, eggs, lemon zest and vanilla. Add 3/4 of the berries and blend well. Fold in remaining berries and pour into awaiting crust. 

 I thought the color would have a little more punch than this, but it’s perfect after it’s done.
Bake @ 325 degrees for 55-60 minutes. It will be a bit jiggly and that is good. Remember how I am about cheese cake right? Over cooking kills.

Oh my word! Isn’t that an amazing picture?!! Not to gloat or anything, but I love it! :P

So, today I went on a picnic with some friends. We drove in a crazy big truck and took cheesecake. It was pretty much perfect. :D
Here’s one of my friends – 

His name is Areli. We like to read books, drink through straws, and go on runs – though I think the later kind of gets boring for him. His mom and I like it though. Someday,  I’ll get a picture of the three of us and post it…I hope. :D
This is the park I swim and run at. It’s beautiful. I was going to get a picture of the actually beach, but it had too many people on it today. Next time…maybe. 

This is what my running trails look like. I love them. In the early mornings, they are absolutely empty. 
Yes! :D

And these…

…are the wheels that get me all the places I want to go. Some one told me it was just about the ugliest car ever. I can’t go that far. What it lacks in looks it makes up in plush comfy seats and the way it drives. I like the way it drives.  I’m thankful for it,  very! If it wasn’t for this car… I would be really good on a bike by now. And I wouldn’t have seen much outside of Post Falls. Post Falls is nice, but not that nice. 
That back tire there? That’s the one I changed all by myself – and it has a bend bolt to show for it. :D

This is me (obviously) with my “sweet ride”. I’m trying to hide it with the towel. :D I should have tried to hide me with the towel – I don’t take good pics of myself….

So there you have a few of the very rare pictures that I took that don’t involve food. I’ll try to be better…or,  if you like I’ll just stick with foodography. I’m totally happy with that!