To-go favor: lemon cheesecake in a jar

August 30, 2011 § Leave a comment

For the garden party shower, I wanted to send the guests home with a cute to-go favor, but I was running out of steam to do a cupcake-in-a-jar.  I considered a pie-to-go favor, and actually had planned to do a traditional pie crust on top and bake them.  But, as the day approached, genius struck and I thought, “Why am I fixated on something baked?”  Well that turned the project upside down and right-side out, and I landed on one of my all-time favorite desserts, a lemony cheesecake that sets up in the fridge overnight.

I started with a dozen ball jars.  I ordered the 4 oz size from Amazon.com, and then I found a fun little font and printed out “Pie to go” on a sheet of white paper.  I found a cute yellow scrapbook paper and cut out circles to fit on my jar lids and modge-podged the scrapbook paper and labels onto the tops of the lids.  This is great because if you get the water hot enough when you’re washing the jar, the label will come off and you can reuse them! In the meantime, it gives it a nice finished look.

We started by washing out the jars, and then we made a simple graham cracker crust to fill the bottom of each jar with.  This gets pressed down in there with whatever you may have handy. Thanks to Baby Mac, I used the bottom of a clean baby bottle.  Then we worked on the pie filling, which I’ve detailed below for you.  The term “cheesecake” is used loosely here, but the final product is amazingly yummy!  Then we just filled the jars and let them set up overnight in the fridge uncovered.  The next morning, we pulled them out and screwed the lids on.  Placed them in baskets by the guest book, and our favor was yum-and-done!

Recipe for EZ Lemon Cheesecake filling is below, but first a few disclaimers.  My grandmother’s recipe calls for Milnot, which I can’t find at any store in our area of Texas, so I made some modifications to the original, and below is what I came up with.  I do a lot of, “oh, I’ll just add this instead” while I’m baking, so these instructions are not exactly measured to perfection, but this recipe would be hard to mess up.  Also, I don’t have pics of this process.  Sorry.

3 oz package of lemon jello mix

1 tsp vanilla

8 oz cream cheese

1 small can evaporated milk

1 small can sweetened condensed milk

Following directions on jello package, mix the lemon jello with boiling water in a large measuring cup or glass bowl, and mix until dissolved and syrupy.  Place in the fridge so that it starts to set up, but just gets to the point where it’s a thick syrup consistency.

In a mixer, whip together 1/2 a can of the sweetend condensed milk with 1/2 a can of the evaporated milk.  Whip together until it’s starting to get a little frothy and fully combined.  Add in the vanilla and the softened cream cheese.  Beat these together until fully combined.

If the jello is not to a syrup stage yet, now would be a good time to do your graham cracker crust.  We just used two packages of graham crackers and half a stick of melted butter.

When jello is at the right consistency, pour into the cream cheese mixture and whip together until fully combined.  The batter will be a little thin, but you will pour it into the jars that have the graham cracker crust on the bottom.  I put the jars on a cookie sheet and moved them to the fridge on that.  Let them set up over night.

This recipe will make enough for 12 4 oz jars.

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