Cheesecakes have been around since the Roman era and people have certainly mastered the art of making cheesecakes ‘all-how’, as a savory or as a dessert. The cheesecakes most preferred are as a dessert and generally comprises a sweetened cream cheese or ricotta mixture and a crushed biscuit or pastry with a fruit topping. Some cheesecakes are even made with yoghurt, cream or sour-cream. The ‘pick-me-up’ cheesecake recipe below is perhaps the quickest, easiest, richest, creamiest, smoothest and most delicious dessert of all, and all you need is a food processor, an oven, a nine inch round, white or Pyrex glass pie dish and a can opener.

This ‘pick-me-up’ cheesecake dessert involves crushing and baking the crust, creaming and baking the mixture, adding the topping, cooling, refrigerating and serving. It can be prepared in just over thirty minutes and served within an hour. So ‘because you don’t live near a bakery doesn’t mean you have to go without cheesecake’…Hedy Lamarr.

The Crust: 2 ounces white granulated sugar, 3 ounces butter, 5 ounces vanilla cookies or digestive biscuits

The Mixture: 16 ounces cream cheese, 4 eggs, 6 ounces white sugar, 1 tsp lime juice, 1 tsp vanilla essence

The Topping: 21 ounce (1 can) ‘Comstock’ or ‘E.D. Smith’ Cherry Pie filling (or strawberry or blueberry)

Crush the ingredients for the crust (butter, vanilla cookies, sugar) in the food processor for three minutes and pat evenly and tightly (using a large, metal or wooden spoon) into 9-inch pie dish. Bake crust in oven @ 325 degrees Fahrenheit for fifteen minutes. While crust is baking, cream ingredients of the mixture (cream cheese, sugar, eggs, vanilla essence, lime juice) in food processor for ten minutes. Remove crust from oven, pour mixture in, bake @ 325 degrees Fahrenheit for twenty-five minutes. Remove cheesecake from oven and turn off oven. (If top of cake is cracked it does not matter as the fruit filling covers it) Open can of cherry pie filling and pour on top of cheesecake. Cool, refrigerate and serve in one hour. Serves eight to ten people.

Voila! This ‘pick-me-up’ homemade cheesecake recipe is simple and economical. It costs between ten and fifteen American dollars and the best part is that it is a sure thing…I have made it over a thousand times and each time it has been spot on. Occasionally I have used fresh sliced fruits like kiwis and strawberries with whipped cream to replace the topping and this gives it an more original touch. Sometimes I even replaced the eggs with six ounces yoghurt, cream or sour-cream for my daughter who is deadly allergic to eggs, but you would then have to bake it for only fifteen minutes. Either way, this ‘pick-me-up’ cheesecake is a heart-warmer, and would brighten anyone’s day.

By Simone Galy-Laquis

Simone Galy-Laquis was born and bred in the Caribbean island of Trinidad and Tobago. At the age of sixteen she went to England to further her education. Two years later she returned to her homeland to manage one of her father’s businesses. By age nineteen she fell in love and married by age twenty-one. By thirty-one she had five children. She has enjoyed writing poetry since the age of six and has three published poems. Now at forty-one she spends her free time writing. She has a collection of sixty historical and inspirational unpublished poems.