Raspberry Cheesecake Parfait from Grandma Loy's Kitchen

Shatzi, thanks so much for having me here today.  Hi all, I am Grandma Loy, and I post recipes and tips over at From Grandma Loy’s Kitchen.  If you like good ole, down home comfort cooking, come on over for a visit.

Since July is usually such a hot month, I like to keep a easy, cool, make-ahead treat in my fridge.  Raspberry Cheesecake Parfait with Graham Crunch fills all those requirements.  It is a raspberry/cheesecake pudding served with alternating layers of graham cracker/nut crunch.  If you are a raspberry lover as I am, this is for you.

To easily soften the cream cheese for this, see my tip here.  If you can’t find cheesecake flavored instant pudding, use vanilla or French vanilla instead.

Note:  Although I created this to be a parfait, I do not have parfait dishes, so I serve it in some clear mugs that I purchased at Dollar Tree.

Raspberry Cheesecake Parfait with Graham Crunch
1 small package cheesecake flavor instant pudding mix.
1 c. milk
4 oz. cream cheese, softened (I use low fat)
1 1/2 c. individually frozen raspberries, thawed and pureed or mashed
1/2 of an 8 oz. container frozen whipped topping (I use light), thawed
a drop or two of red food color
4 graham cracker rectangles, crushed into crumbs
1/2 c. brown sugar
1/3 c. chopped, toasted pecans
1/3 c. butter, melted
2 (6 oz.) pkgs. fresh raspberries
remaining whipped topping for garnishing

In a medium mixing bowl combine pudding mix and milk.  Beat for two minutes with a electric hand mixer or a wire whisk.  Mixture will be stiff.  Add softened cream cheese and beat until smooth.  Stir in pureed raspberries until well blended.  Fold in whipped topping until well incorporated into pudding mixture.  Add a drop or two of red food color for a pinker pudding.  Place in refrigerator and chill at least several hours.  Meanwhile, combine graham cracker crumbs, brown sugar, and toasted pecans.  Stir in melted butter until all ingredients are moistened.  Turn into a 9x13-inch pan and spread evenly.  Bake at 350 degrees 10-15 minutes our until lightly browned.  Let cool, crumble and store in a zip-top plastic bag.  To serve, spoon about 1/4 cup of the raspberry pudding in the bottom of a parfait dish, add a couple of tablespoons of graham cracker crunch, add a layer of fresh raspberries, repeat layers and top with a spoon of whipped topping.  Pudding will keep in the refrigerator for up to a week, and crunch will keep for a couple of weeks.  Makes about 6 servings.