Cherry Cheesecake Parfait

All of my friends know that I am a huge fan of Trader Joe's.  I am constantly talking about great products that I find in their stores.  (Seriously, I should be on their payroll!)

Recently I tried Trader Joe's dark Morello Cherries and after tasting them I have been experimenting with different ways to incorporate these delicious cherries into my recipes.

Recently I made crepes and filled them with Trader Joe's Belgian chocolate pudding and then I topped them with these cherries.  The combination of the dark bittersweet chocolate and the slightly sour cherries was perfect.

My latest recipe is a cherry cheesecake parfait.  It is extremely easy to make and it is perfect just about any time of the year.

Cherry Cheesecake Parfait

8 oz. cream cheese
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon lemon juice

1/3 cup whipping cream
1 Tablespoon sugar

Optional Topping:
Additional sweetened whipped cream
sliced almonds

In a bowl mix the softened cream cheese with 1/4 cup sugar, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla and 1 teaspoon lemon juice.

In a separate bowl beat 1/3 cup whipping cream until stiff while slowly adding 1 Tablespoon of sugar.

Carefully fold the whipped cream into the cream cheese mixture.  Chill in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.

To serve:  Layer cherries (with some of the cherry juice) and the cream cheese mixture.  (Cream cheese can be piped or spooned into a dessert glass or bowl).  Top with extra whipped cream and sliced almonds if desired.  Service immediately, or chill for later.

If you are not near a Trader Joe's then try any other favorite fruit filling.  This recipe is also especially good with fresh strawberries, raspberries or mangos.

Makes 4 servings.