Saturday morning I helped my parents pick almost two gallons of blackberries from my dad’s bushes. Although it was just starting to get hot out the grass was still dewey and stuck to my toes. I shouldn’t have worn flip-flips, I guess. I’ve always loved eating food straight out of the garden, or off the vine. In that way I’m very spoiled because my dad has a huge garden each year, and he also grows multiple kinds of fruit. I find it therapeutic to pick my own food. Pick berry, drop into bucket, sweat drips down face. Wipe off face and repeat.
When I was little we would visit my grandparents in Iowa and I would help my grandfather pick black raspberries. I’m excited that next summer my daughter will be old enough to help her grandfather pick the berries.
After we picked the black raspberries any fruit that didn’t immediately get eaten would be saved for dessert after dinner. My grandmother would wash the berries, spoon them into small bowls, and pour cream over them. We’d then sprinkle sugar and cinnamon on top. So easy! So delicious!
This recipe reminds me of all the berries I ate for dessert in Iowa. The differences? It has a tasty crust and there’s a little rum in it, as well. Everything is better with a shot of rum.
Blackberries and Cream Cheesecake
Bake at 350 for 40-50 minutes, until the crust is a golden brown. The filling will appear soft. Make sure you use a deep-dish pie plate (and grease it!)! Please, learn from my mistakes.
You’ll make this dessert in four layers. It’s like you’re an architect!
3/4 cup flour
1 t baking powder
1/2 t salt
3 1/4 ounce package dry vanilla pudding (not the instant stuff!)
3 T soft butter
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/2 cup milk
Mix together the flour, baking powder, salt, and dry pudding. In another bowl mix together the butter, lightly beaten egg, and milk. Combine the dry and wet ingredients and beat for 2 minutes at medium speed. Grease the fingers on one hand and pat the first layer into the pan.
The berries! Yum! Place your rinsed and dried blackberries on the dough. I used enough berries to completely cover the dough and have a second layer of berries. This is when it becomes important that you use a deep-dish pie plate!
1-8 oz cream cheese
1/2 cup sugar
3 T rum (I used Sailor Jerry. This was the only rum I would drink in college and keeping it in the house brings back fond, if fuzzy, memories. That and it has a cherry undertone, which I think is delicious in cooking. Pick your favorite rum and embrace it!)
Combine these ingredients and beat for 2 minutes. Taste it. It’s delicious, isn’t it? I think I’m going to make a second batch and just it it spooned over berries. Spoon this mixture to over the berries and spread it to the edge.
1 T sugar
1/2-1 t cinnamon
Sprinkle the sugar and cinnamon over the cream cheese layer. Don’t be afraid to use too much cinnamon unless you’re really adverse to it. It’s delicious.
I know it’s hard, but let this cool completely before you cut into it. If you don’t you’ll just have a hot mess of blackberries and cream cheesecake pudding. I’m not saying that’s a bad thing, it’s just not what we’re going for here.
Going, going, gone.