Cherry Cheese Na ‘pie’ leon

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What’s tastier than cheesecake? Sour-cherry cheesecake! We delved back into our ’50s recipe pile to find the mousse-like cheesecake for the middle layer of this stacked individual dessert. If you have some left over after building the na’pie’leons,  just chill it in a bowl and save for later. It doesn’t need to be baked.

Makes 6 na'pie'leons

Crust Ingredients

1 roll-and-bake ready-made pie crust, or, your favorite pie crust recipe

Filling Ingredients

  • 1 No. 2 can (20-ounce) or jar of sour cherries, juice reserved and divided
  • 3/4 cup reserved cherry juice
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 2 Tbsp cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup cherry juice
  • 1 tsp butter
  • 2 tsp fresh-squeezed lemon juice
  • reserved sour cherries

Cheesecake Filling Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 Tbsp plain gelatin
  • 1/2 cup cold water
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 2 pkg cream cheese
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla
  • equivalent of 4 egg whites, pasteurized
  • 1 cup cream


  1. Make pie circles: Preheat oven to 450. Roll out crust. Cut into 12, 3-inch circles. Place on parchment-lined baking sheet. Prick each circle several times with the tines of a fork. Bake for 5 minutes until golden. Remove to a cooling rack.
  2. Make streusel: In mixer bowl of stand mixer, beat butter until creamy. Add sugar and mix in well. Remove bowl from mixer stand and add ground hazelnuts, oats, salt and flour, combining well. Chill for 1/2 hour. Preheat oven to 325. Spread mixture on a parchment-lined cookie sheet. Bake about 20 minutes until toasted well. Remove from oven and cool.
  3. While streusel bakes, make cherry filling: Drain juice from sour cherries into a large measuring cup. Set cherries aside. Pour 3/4 cup of reserved sour cherry juice into a saucepan. Sift together sugar, cinnamon and salt and sift into saucepan. Mix cornstarch with 1/4 cup cherry juice and pour into pan. Cook over medium heat, whisking constantly until mixture thickens and becomes clear. Remove from heat. Stir in butter, lemon juice and reserved cherries. Set aside.
  4. Make cheesecake filling: Sprinkle plain gelatin over very cold water to soften. Set aside. In a heavy saucepan, combine egg yolks, sugar, salt and milk and whisk over medium heat until the mixture coats a spoon. Remove from heat. Whisk in softened gelatin. Reserve. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat cream cheese with vanilla until light and fluffy. Beat in the reserved egg mixture. Remove all to a separate bowl. Wash stand mixer bowl. Beat egg whites until the hold peaks. Remove egg whites to a bowl. Wash stand mixer bowl once more. Whip heavy cream. Fold egg whites into cheese mixture. Fold whipped cream in. Chill for about 10 minutes until mousse sets up and becomes slightly firm.
  5. Assemble na’pie’leons: Place six, 3 x 3-inch cake rings on a parchment-lined cookie sheet. Carefully slip a pie crust circle into the bottom of each. Spoon an inch of cheesecake mousse into each. Top this with cherries. Top with a second pie crust circle. Top with more cherries. Top with more mousse. Leaving about 1/4 inch of space at the top of the ring. Fill tops of each ring with streusel. Place cookie sheet in a freezer and chill for 15 minutes. To serve, push na’pie’leons out of rings onto individual serving plates.

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