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Cherry cheese pie tarts
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Mini No-Bake Cherry Cheese Pies

Festive individual serving-size pies made with premade graham cracker crusts and cream cheese filling that tastes wonderful any time of the year.
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword Cheese Pie, Cherry Pie, Cream Cheese, Graham Cracker, Pie
Prep Time 15 minutes
Time to chill 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 15 minutes
Servings 12 Makes 12 mini pies

Ingredients

  • 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese softened
  • 1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons reconstituted lemon juice (from a bottle)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 packages (4 ounces, 6-count each) mini graham cracker crusts (total of 12 mini crusts)
  • 1 can (21 ounces) cherry pie filling
  • Whipped cream or Cool Whip topping

Instructions

  • For the Cherry Pie Filling - Transfer the cherry pie filling from the can into a small bowl that has a lid (or plastic wrap can be used to cover the bowl). Chill the cherry pie filling in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours before serving.
  • For the Mini Graham Cracker Pie Crusts - Remove the plastic dividers from the mini graham cracker crusts and discard.  Set the pie crusts on 2 or 3 large plates and set aside.
  • For the Cream Cheese Pie Filling - In a large bowl add softened cream cheese. Beat the cream cheese with a hand or stand mixer until smooth and creamy.
  • To the bowl, add sweetened condensed milk. Beat until thoroughly blended.
  • To the bowl, add reconstituted lemon juice and vanilla extract.
  • With a soft spatula or sturdy spoon, stir together until combined.
  • Using a spoon, add the cream cheese mixture into the graham cracker crusts so that each pie has about the same amount of filling in it.
  • Chill in the refrigerator at least 2 hours before serving.
  • Once chilled and just before serving, top each mini pie with chilled cherry pie filling and a dollop of whipped cream or Cool Whip topping.

Notes

TIPS

1. For Making the Pies Ahead of Time - If making these pies ahead of time it's best not to top them with the cherries and whip cream until right before serving.  This is because when the cherry topping comes in contact with the top edge of the graham cracker crust, it may make the crust soggy and it's not as pretty as when the graham cracker crust is fresh looking. 
2. For Serving - An option is to set the beautiful pies on a large white platter along with spoons and let guests serve themselves.  That way, the guests can even get seconds if they want to.
3. The Trick to Making a Smooth and Creamy Cream Cheese Pie Filling 
- The trick is not to make a common mistake that I've made a number of times and that is...don't put all of the ingredients in the mixing bowl at once
- It's really important to add the ingredients in the specific order that's listed in the instructions
- Most importantly, for this pie, the lemon juice and vanilla extract must be stirred in right at the end.
- Never add the lemon juice and vanilla extract when mixing the cream cheese and condensed milk together.
- If the lemon juice is mixed in too soon, the pie filling will be a mushy mess.
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