Food Finds · Trail Cooking

Dessert Time: Cheesecake Roundup Part 2: Recipes

In Part 2 on cheesecake desserts, we will cover easy ways to make it in the wilds.

This type of dessert isn’t easy to make from scratch. You are going to have to use a processed mix to get the results. Partly it is due to making a dessert that needs to be cold, so if you use processed foods here, you can mimic it pretty easily. The other is….this is a dessert that really tastes best if you can actually chill it. By using nature’s refrigerator – a snow bank or a cold stream will do wonders. This isn’t a choice for hot desert trips, or a humid trip in the deep south in August. It’s either winter or where you have a cold source.

The first up is the Cheesecake Strawberry Chocolate Mini Pies.

To find the Cheesecake flavor of Jell-O instant pudding, you will need to visit a large grocery store, think a chain over an independent store. Where we live on our island all the grocery stores are independents. Once every 2 to 3 weeks we drive to shop at chain stores to stock up. I picked this up at Safeway. Be sure it is instant, and not cook. They can look similar.

Price range is $1.00 to $2.00 a box, and the dry weight is 3.4 ounces.

Yes, there is a sugar free version of Jell-O Cheesecake Pudding mix. But I cannot even recommend it. They still in the dark ages and use Nutrasweet and sorry, it tastes so gross (and I won’t consume it). Yes, it is only 1 ounce dry weight, but don’t fall for it! Just enjoy the cheesecake dessert for what it is….a big pile of crappy processed sugars.

You will also need a package of mini graham cracker pie crusts. These are like the pudding mix – you will need to look in a well stocked large grocery store. Find them in the baking aisle, with the graham cracker pie crusts, often near chocolate chips and chopped nuts. Weight is 4 ounces. Be sure to leave them in the packaging they come in. It will protect the crusts.

Pack 2/3 cup dry milk in a quart freezer bag, along with the pudding mix. Mark “Add 2 cups water”.

In 2 snack bags, pack ½ cup freeze-dried strawberry slices in one, and ¼ cup mini chocolate chips in the other.

When ready to make add in 2 cups cold water. Stir really well, giving it a couple minutes stirring. You can also seal the bag and shake it once it is stirred. Good job for small children.

Open the bag up and stir in the strawberries and the chocolate chips. Seal tightly.

Now…find a snow bank or cold stream to put the bag in for at least 5 minutes, better is an hour or two, while you make dinner.

When ready, cut a corner off of the bag and fill the pie shells. Or scoop it out with a long handled spoon.

Serves 3 to 6 people, depending on appetite.

Onto the next DIY mixes. The classic Jell-O No Bake Classic Cheesecake mix.

Jell-O Cheesecake with strawberry pie filling, it weighs in at 19 ounces though, for 6 servings.

Cost is $4 to 5 per box, depending on store. Look in the pudding aisle. Weight is 11.1 ounces dry, plus the weight of the dry milk needed to make. As for servings, this is the one for a big crowd – or you can cut the box in half to make 2-3 servings. If the mix is divided it is about the same weight as the other ones, but the price is far lower, at around $3 with the milk included. The sugar is lower per serving (6 servings per box) at 25 grams sugar for the base.

How to prepare:

In a gallon freezer bag, add correct amount of powdered milk plus dry mix. (For every cup of fluid milk called for add 1/3 cup dry instant milk + 1 cup water.) If making a half box, weigh the dry cheesecake mix to divide properly. Also weigh and divide the graham cracker crumbs.

In camp:

Add cold water to mix in bag. Use a long handle spoon and stir till it starts to thicken, making sure to not miss any powder in the corners. Set aside (it sill continue to thicken as it sits). If you have a cold creek or snowbank, stash it into it, and it will set up better. Do this before making dinner for best turnout.

You can make it in the bag, and serve it out of the bag – for a no mess way. I served it in a plastic bowl plate to show it off. Either way works of course.

When it is time to eat, sprinkle with graham cracker crumbs. Enjoy! (If you got an instant cheesecake mix with a fruit topping, top with it.)

With strawberry topping on top.

If you would like to do individual servings, prepare the mix in the bag and then cut a corner off of the bag. Squeeze into muffin liners, sprinkle crumbs on top.

You can also put the crumbs on the bottom if desired. You don’t have to add the extra sugar and butter called for.


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