Every so often I post healthier, lighter, recipes. Today is not one of those days. Cream Cheese Crumb Dessert has your daily requirement of whipped cream, butter, and egg yolks. And to top it all off, it’s one of those rich desserts that tastes deceptively light.
This version of the recipe is my variation on one from Traditional Jewish Baking: Retro Recipes Your Grandma Would Make… If She Had a Mixer. The title is so funny because my grandmother and great grandmother did have mixers and they both made versions of this cake. The difference is they added bananas, pecans and pineapples and called it Millionaire Pie. So even though Cream Cheese Crumb Dessert based on a traditional Jewish cheesecake, it also feels very much like an old Southern favorite.
Flavor and Texture
The crumb crust/topping is very good. It has more egg yolks than you usually find in this kind of crumb, and you can taste them at first. Thankfully their flavor mellows out after a while. Plus I think the yolk flavor would only be noticable to those who are sensitive to it. The vanilla filling is good too. It’s a combination of cream cheese, whipped cream, pudding mix and Greek yogurt, so how could it not be? I added a little bit of pineapple to a section of it. It worked well, but some people will prefer the texture without it, so only add it if you have a pineapple lover around. It doesn’t really need it, but I’m so tempted to add even more pineapple, pecans and cherries and turn it into another rendition of Millionaire Pie.
Part of the reason this recipe looks so decadent on paper is because it makes a lot. The good news is you can halve it and make it in an 8 inch square pan or even quarter and it make it in a loaf pan. In her original recipe, Carine Goren (who is a pastry chef in Israel) made it as a 10 inch round cheesecake. I was worried it would not slice neatly when made as a round, plus I don’t have that size cheesecake pan, but now that I’ve made it as a square I may try it as a round. It does hold its shape after a proper chill.
Cream Cheese Crumb Dessert
- 2 cups all-purpose flour (280 grams)
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup sugar (100 grams)
- 2 sticks minus 1 tablespoon unsalted butter (15 tablespoons) (200 grams)
- 4 large egg yolks
- 2 cups whipping cream
- 1 cup sugar (200 grams)
- 1 package French vanilla flavored instant pudding (3 oz)
- 3/4 cup sour cream (170 grams)
- 1 block cream cheese (8 oz), softened (240 grams)
- 1 cup Greek yogurt (240 grams)
- 1 20 oz can crushed pineapple, very well drained and patted dry (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9×13 inch glass dish and have ready a rimmed sheet pan as well.
- In the bowl of a food processor, pulse the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar to mix. Add the chunks of butter and pulse until crumbly, then add the egg yolks and pulse until blended.
- Dump half of the mixture into the 13×9 inch dish and press down flat. Dump remaining crumbs onto the baking sheet and press into a slab lightly. You will be baking and crumbling them, so no need to do this neatly.
- Bake the crust and the crumbs together for about 20 minutes or until golden. Keep an eye on them and shield if you need to by laying a piece of foil over. Let cool, then break up the crumbs on the baking sheet.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer using the whisk attachment, beat the cream until stiff peaks form. Scrape it into another bowl to wait.
- To the stand mixer bowl, no need to clean, add the sugar, instant pudding mix, sour cream, softened cream cheese and yogurt. Beat until well blended, then fold in the whipped cream. If using pineapple, fold that in.
- Spread the creamy mixture over the baked crumb crust, then sprinkle the crumbs over the top. Cover and chill for 4 to 6 hours or overnight.
Darlene, thank you for sharing that vintage recipe. It means a lot and I really appreciate it. This has been a tough month for us and little things like these comments (and vintage recipes) mean a lot. Thank you!!! And especially thank you for including the note about not using other types of pudding.
About pineapple extract, I don’t know why you could not use it. I had a bottle of pineapple extract that we bought in Grand Cayman and I think it would have added a nice flavor to this. I think I lost it, though.
LOL, I also laughed out loud at the beginning of this recipe! You mentioned you added pineapple to a section of it and thought some people might not like the texture pineapple adds. This reminds me of a recipe I absolutely loved as a child that was very popular and appeared in women’s magazines. It used Jell-O Pineapple Cream Instant Pudding. As far as I know, that flavor pudding is no longer available. It was great because it provided pineapple flavor without ruining the pie’s smooth texture. In fact, here is the recipe exactly as it was published:
PINEAPPLE PUDDING CHEESECAKE
1 large (8 oz.) package Borden’s Cream Cheese
2 cups milk
1 package Jell-O Pineapple Cream Instant Pudding
9-inch graham cracker crust
Stir cream cheese until very soft; blend in 1/2 cup milk. Add remaining milk and the pudding mix. Beat slowly with egg beater just until well mixed, about 1 minute. (Do not overbeat.) Pour at once into graham cracker crust. Sprinkle graham cracker crumbs lightly over top. Chill about an hour. Serve to 8 delighted people–and then get set for applause!
P.S. It takes the special qualities of Jell-O Instant Pudding to make this luscious cheesecake. This particular recipe can not be made with any other instant or cooked pudding.
Anna, do you think I could just add pineapple extract (if it’s available somewhere) to vanilla pudding as a substitute for Pineapple Cream pudding?
I hope you try it, Donna. You can make the whole thing, or if you have a scale you can make a small batch in a loaf pan and just measure 1/4 of everything. I really liked the crumb crust and topping on this one even though the egg yolk flavor was somewhat pronounced at first.
“Every so often I post healthier, lighter, recipes. Today is not one of those days”
This made me chuckle!
This dessert sounds delicious! Thanks for the giggle