It’s Pie Time for the “You Want Pies With That?” baking group. This month’s theme, “Vacation Pies” was chosen by Jenn at Piccante Dolce. It’s the perfect theme to celebrate the end of our summer vacation. Next Tuesday it’s back to reality in our house. My son starts third grade – can’t believe it! I head back to work and once again try to figure out how to juggle being the chauffeur, short order cook, homework monitor – oh and somehow manage to fit in that full-time job at the school district, since that’s the job that pays the mortgage.
The beach is hands down my favorite vacation spot and was the inspiration for my pie this month. Hawaii, St. Lucia, Monterey… the geographical location really doesn’t matter. As long as I have a lounge chair, a bit of sunshine, and a romance novel, I’m in heaven. I’ve spent my life in Southern California at the beach, so you might think a vacation would actually mean going some place different. But me, do something different? Don’t bet on it!
I used my new mini cheesecake pan from Sur La Table to make these cinna-mini pies. I LOVE this pan! Bite-sized desserts are my favorite for their automatic portion control. These pies are filled with rich, creamy white chocolate cheesecake, surrounded by a graham cracker crust, and a cinnamon streusel topping. The crumbly topping helped me achieve the sand-like texture I was going for, and the taste was to die for! I garnished these little babies with chocolate swirled shells that were made with my chocolate seashell mold. I have to say I didn’t go into this one with total confidence. I wasn’t sure how the white chocolate/cinnamon streusel topping would taste. Fortunately, this one was a big success. Oh my gosh, these were good! At the point in which I realized these could not stay in my kitchen (too dangerous to keep around), I wrapped them up individually and brought them to work as little welcome back greetings for the people in my office. They turned out really cute and were a little morale booster for a workplace that desperately needs a bit of sunshine!
White Chocolate Streusel Tartlettes
2 ½ tbsp. butter, melted
2 tbsp. sugar
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Use nonstick spray to lightly spray pan. Mix ingredients in a medium bowl. Divide mixture evenly into 12 mini cheesecake cups. Bake for 3-4 minutes and cool.
1 tsp. vanilla
¼ cup sugar
2 oz. white chocolate baking bar
Blend ingredients until smooth. Fill cups evenly with cheese mixture. Bake 14-16 minutes.
2 1/4 Cups flour
1 1/2 Tablespoons cinnamon
1 3/4 Cups brown sugar
1 1/2 Tablespoons vanilla
While cheesecake layer is baking, prepare crumb topping. Use electric mixer to combine, butter, flour, cinnamon, brown sugar and vanilla until all crumbly. after cheesecake is removed from oven, break crumb topping into marble size pieces with fingers, divide among the 12 cups, sprinkling on top of cheesecake layer. Put back in oven and bake an additional 5-7 minutes. Cool for 20 minutes in the pan. Lightly loosen cheesecake tarts around the edges. Carefully remove cheesecakes. Garnish with a chocolate shell. Refrigerate until ready to serve.