Easy Mango-Almond Cheesecake


Easy Mango-Almond Cheesecake

I needed a new dessert creation for my “crazy-about-my-desserts” friends.  And I chose to just make one with whatever ingredients I have available.  Well, lo and behold, I certainly could do something about some left-over toasted whole almonds, a box of cream cheese and a can of Arroy-D mango slices.  I decided to do an easy mango-almond cheesecake.

Cheesecake always starts with making the crust, usually with graham cracker crumbs, sugar and melted butter.  No graham cracker crumbs, so the only other option would be to make a shortbread crust of butter, flour and sugar.  For the cream cheese filling, basic ingredients included softened cream cheese, sugar, egg and cornstarch.  I would have loved this with slices of fresh, ripe Philippine mangoes, but a canned mango slices would make this cheesecake really really easy.

I used a disposable store-bought round foil pan with clear lid for easy transport.

For the shortbread crust:
1 stick (1/2 cup) butter, softened
1/3 cup sugar
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
2/3 cup toasted almonds, chopped

For the cream cheese filling:
1 box (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon mango extract (or vanilla)

For the topping and garnish:
1 can mango slices in syrup, drained and sliced
enough sugar to sprinkle over mango slices
2 tablespoons toasted almonds, coarsely chopped (optional)

1.  Preheat oven to 350 F.  In a medium mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar until well-combined.  Beat in flour and stir in nuts.  Pam-spray sides and bottom of round foil pan.   Press the crust mixture evenly on the bottom of the pan and bake for 20 minutes or until the edges are nicely browned.  Turn off oven heat and remove pan.  Cool completely on a wire rack before proceeding with the filling.

2.  Bring the oven back to a higher temperature of 375 F.  In a medium bowl, beat cream cheese with sugar, cornstarch, egg and extract using an electric mixer until creamy and well-blended.  Spread mixture over cooled baked crust.  Arrange drained mango slices on top and sprinkle thin layer of sugar over mango slices.  Bake for 30 minutes.  Cool on a wire rack and transfer to refrigerator to chill at least 2 hours.

Just before putting clear lid, sprinkle coarsely chopped toasted almonds on top of cheesecake.

My friends love love love this…a unanimous 2-thumbs up!


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