Patti LaBelle's Berry Mini-Cheesecake Cups

Legendary singer Patti LaBelle gives dessert lovers recipes to sing about – for delicious cakes, mousses and more from her newest cookbook, Desserts LaBelle

Makes 24 cups

INGREDIENTS

Crust

  • • 2/3 cup graham cracker crumbs (from about 6 whole crackers)
  • • 1½ tbsp sugar
  • • 3 tbsp unsalted butter, melted

Filling

  • • 8 oz cream cheese, at room temperature
  • • 1/3 cup plain, low-fat Greek yogurt (but not non-fat)
  • • 2/3 cup sugar
  • • 1 large egg, beaten to blend, at room temperature
  • • finely grated zest of ½ lemon
  • • 1 tsp cornstarch
  • • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • • ½ cup red raspberry preserve or red currant jelly
  • • 1 tbsp water
  • • About 6 oz (11/3 cups) fresh raspberries and/or blueberries

DIRECTIONS

  1. Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350° F. Line two 12-cup mini-muffin tins with paper liners.
  2. To make the crust, mix the cracker crumbs, sugar and melted butter in a small bowl. Divide the mixture among the cups, using about 2 tsp for each. Firmly press the mixture into the bottoms of the cups. Bake until the crusts are set and smell fragrant, about 8 minutes. Remove from the oven.
  3. To make the filling, use an electric mixer at low speed and mix the cream cheese, yogurt, sugar, egg, lemon zest, cornstarch and vanilla in a medium bowl just until smooth. Do not overmix. Divide the cream cheese mixture among the warm cups; they will be filled to the brim.
  4. Bake until the filling is puffed and feels set when a cup is gently pressed on top, about 20 minutes. Do not let the filling brown. Let cool completely in the pans.
  5. Bring the preserves and water to a boil over medium heat, stirring often. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook to reduce very slightly, about 2 minutes. Strain the preserves through a fine-mesh wire sieve set over a bowl to remove the seeds (no need to strain the jelly).
  6. Arrange the berries as desired on top of each cup. Drizzle some of the warm glaze over the berries. Refrigerate to set the glaze. (The cups can be refrigerated, uncovered, for up to 1 day.) Serve chilled, as is, or with the papers peeled off.
Sweets for the SoulAlready a bestselling food author, Patti had never considered doing a dessert book, given her diabetes diagnosis in 1994. But the singer was spurred on by fans of her sweet potato pie (sold at Walmart in the U.S.) and her son, Zuri, who reminded her that the LaBelle family has a treasure trove of decadent recipes! They’re all in this book, along with low-sugar, reduced-fat creations which, says Patti, “I enjoy every bit as much as my old-school treats.” – CHRIS DANIELS


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