Today, it is our daughters' birthday (birthdays?)
Our favorite way to celebrate...
Found in the wilds of the Rocky Mountains and the upper Northwest US, (and maybe, Mongolia) these elusive little berries have a bright, zippy taste with a lemony-blueberry zing.... ah, heck, it's hard to describe. From my house, head North about 238 miles. Tromp into the wilderness about 20 miles East over the hills from Grandpa's farm, past a moose, a couple of deer, over three cattle guards, around a creek (pronounced "crick") into the forested hills to sit for hours in a bear's favorite berry patch picking these precious, teeny little sweeties. Sometimes it takes all day to get a gallon! And they don't always grow in the same spot or at the same density each season, or even every year - just depends on the weather.
I'm also thinking about my Dad. He passed away one year ago today. He joined my Momma, who has been gone nearly 14 years. One of our family's favorite things to do in the summer was to go "Huckleberryin'". Dad would scout out the best berry patches on horseback, a regular "huckleberry hound". In later years, he'd use his "wheeled" horse. He could find the biggest berries, complete with a nearby stump for Mom to sit on and pick. Her raspberry-huckleberry jam was legendary.
So, last summer, my little brother found the perfect hillside for my sisters and nieces, and assumed the "Huckleberry Hound" title. We picked, we reminisced, we tasted a few berries, we laughed, we cried a little. It was a gooood huckleberry season.
I came home and made Raspberry-Huckleberry jam. One bite is a mouthful of memories.
But now, it's time for some Huckleberry Cheesecake.
1 8-oz brick of cream cheese
1 cup powdered confectioner's sugar
1/2 pint (1 cup) whipping cream
Pre-made shortbread or graham cracker crust(s)
Strawberry flavor Danish Dessert pudding/pie glaze/topping mix
1 to 2 cups berries
(huckleberries, strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, etc.)
Blend together cream cheese and powdered sugar. Set aside.
In a separate bowl, whip the whipping cream at medium-high speed until soft peaks form. Be careful not to over-beat!
Gently fold in whipped cream with cream cheese mixture. That's it! Instant "Cheesecake". It's more like cream cheese fluff, but we call it cheesecake, anyway.
Spread half of the mixture into prepared shortbread or graham cracker crusts. Use the leftover to pipe around the edges. Use any more leftover cheesecake mixture and fill dessert dishes, a second crust or sometimes I use mini crusts. Refrigerate.
Next, make the topping.
Put on an apron (see my newest apron next Monday at Cutting Corners for Riley Blake Designs).
Prepare Danish Dessert pudding/pie glaze/topping according to package directions using 2 cups water.
Bring the water to a boil, stir in the mix, boil for 1 minute, stirring constantly.
(Click HERE for a made-from-scratch recipe from Anne at The Changeable Table.)
Remove from heat and stir in 1 to 2 cups fresh or frozen berries. To serve, pour the partially cooled berry sauce over individual slices of cheesecake.
If you are making the cheesecake beforehand, pour berry sauce over the entire cheesecake, then refrigerate until cooled and set, then slice and serve.
Or not. I couldn't resist.
Any leftover berry sauce? Huckleberry shakes. You're welcome, honey!
Happy Anniversary, Happy Blogiversary, Happy New Year, Happy Birthday(s) to my girls; Love and miss you Momma and Papa.
Please pass the cheesecake. And the tissues.