I’d like to report that I helped, but in the battle of wasps versus Heather, wasps win, and so I remained inside. Instead, I thought I’d ease the process by throwing together a couple of Tony’s favorite flavors: lemon and cherries. I figure if I couldn’t participate in the gritty destruction, I could at least create a light at the end of the tunnel.
I love this kind of dessert, because it can be altered to suit practically anyone’s tastes. I made lemon-flavored “cheesecake” and cherry topping, but I’ve also done pistachio for the “cheesecake.” Pretty much any fruit that’s in season would work well for the topping. Up here, near the Cherry Capital, it’s pretty much a mandate that we create cherry desserts…one with which I happily comply.
~1/2 box Nilla Wafers
1 package cream cheese, softened (I used reduced fat)
2 3.4-oz boxes cheesecake flavored instant pudding
2 1/2 cups milk (I used 2%, but any kind should work)
1 teaspoon lemon extract (lemon zest would be better, but I didn’t have any lemons)
~4 cups pitted Montmorency cherries
~1 cup sugar (alter depending on sweetness of your cherries)
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon almond extract
Toss cherries, sugar, cornstarch, and almond extract together in a medium-sized pan. Cook over medium/low heat until mixture simmers then congeals. Turn off heat and let cool.
Whisk cream cheese until fluffy. Stir in pudding mix. Slowly whisk in milk and lemon extract.
Crumble cookies in the bottom of a medium trifle dish, until you reach desired thickness.
Pour 1/2 the cheesecake mixture over cookies. Add another layer of crumbled cookies, and then add the rest of the cheesecake mix. Top with cooled cherries.
Cool in the refrigerator for at least four hours.