Tuesday, March 24, 2015


The first time I made this Pineapple Cheesecake was several years ago. Even then I was always trying to reduce calories whenever I could. That time was no different; I used fat-free cream cheese. I made it for a couples' dinner group my husband and I belonged to. When it was time for dessert, I left the table to cut the squares to serve it.

I am always nervous when I try to remove the first piece of a dessert. Some of my friends and I have an expression, " Expect the first serving to not come out perfectly and then be surprised when it does." 

That night, the first one didn't come out perfectly, but none of the others did either. The cream cheese layer just didn't "set" up...even though I had cooked it. At least it tasted really good so no one really cared.(but me, of course)

So Thursday night when I made the dessert for a second time, I used regular cream cheese. I definitely didn't want a repeat of that other night several years ago. Each piece came out perfectly this time. I'm not sure why it didn't work the first time. Usually substituting fat-free cream cheese for regular cream cheese works in recipes that require some baking time. Another change I made was cooking the crust the full amount of time (20 minutes). I am sure before I took it out after 15 minutes. That might have helped also as the crust stayed together with each piece I cut.


Pat-in-the-Pan Crust (below)

2       packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened or at room temperature
1/2    cup sugar
2       eggs
2/3   cup unsweetened pineapple juice
1/4    cup all-purpose flour
1/4    cup sugar
1        can (20 ounces) crushed pineapple, well drained (reserve 1 cup juice)
1/2    cup whipping cream (or 1 cup Cool Whip)

Heat oven to 350 degrees F (325 degrees F if using a glass baking dish)

Prepare the crust according to directions below. While the crust is baking, prepare the filling.

Beat the cream cheese in a mixing bowl until smooth and fluffy.

Beat in 1/2 cup sugar and the eggs.

Stir in the 2/3 cup of pineapple juice.

Pour the cream cheese mixture over the hot crust. 

Bake just until center is set, about 20 minutes.

Cool completely.

Mix the flour, and sugar in a 2-quart saucepan. 
Stir in the reserved 1 cup of juice. Make sure you whisk out the lumps.

Heat to boiling over medium heat, stirring constantly. Boil and stir 1 minute.

Remove from heat 
and fold in the pineapple.

Cool completely.

When cooled, beat the whipping cream in a chilled bowl until stiff OR use 1 cup of Cool Whip. Fold into pineapple mixture.

Spread carefully over dessert.

Cover loosely and refrigerate until firm, about 4 hours. ( I always make mine the day/night before)

Cut into squares to serve.


2       cups all-purpose flour
2/3    cups margarine or butter, softened
1/2    cup almonds, finely chopped
1/2    cup powdered sugar

Mix all ingredients in a large mixing bowl until crumbly.

Press firmly and evenly in bottom of an ungreased rectangular pan, 9 x 13 - inches

Bake until set, 15 - 20 minutes. (I did mine in a glass Pyrex 9 x 13 - inch dish at 325 degrees F and baked it 20 minutes.)

I had two desserts Friday night for people to choose. Most people chose the Key Lime Cake I will also be sharing. I decided to take what was left of the Pineapple Cheesecake Squares (except for several servings for my husband to enjoy later...he liked it better than the cake) Saturday to share it with the downstairs volunteers. They were really surprised to see me walk in with a dessert. I heard Dale asked if if were Tuesday. When I explained that I had told everyone at our house the night before that I would take the leftovers to Hillcrest the next day, Dale laughed and said, "We'll eat anything!" They thought it was delicious. Dean and Bob even had a second helping. Guess it was good most of the regulars who are there on Tuesday, don't volunteer on Saturday.

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