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Saturday, June 09, 2007

No-Bake No-Fail Cheesecake

The Altitude Adjustment Section
Here is a recipe for a no-bake, super-easy cheesecake from Susan Purdy’s The Family Baker. With the delicious berries available right now, this is such a winner. Best made the day before. You can substitute ginger snaps or chocolate cookie crumbs for graham cracker crumbs.

Ingredients for Crust
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter melted
1 1/3 cups graham cracker crumbs
2 tablespoons granulated sugar

Ingredients for Batter
1 tablespoon lemon juice
3 tablespoons water
3 1/2 teaspoons powdered gelatin
1 pound (2 8-ounce packages) room temperature, full fat cream cheese
1 cup granulated sugar
2 cups room temperature sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla or other extract like almond, lemon or coconut

Lightly coat a 10-inch deep pie plate with butter. Combine crust items in a small bowl and press into bottom and side of pie plate. To make filling, combine lemon juice and water in a small sauce pan. Sprinkle the gelatin on top and let sit 2 minutes to soften. Stir over low heat for 2 –3 minutes or until the gelatin is dissolved and you can no longer see the granules. Do not let boil. Set aside. In the bowl of your electric mixer, with paddle attachment, whip cream cheese till very soft and creamy. Beat in sugar. Scrape down bowl and beat again. Add sour cream and vanilla and beat till completely smooth. Scoop out 1/4 cup of the cheese mixture and whisk into dissolved gelatin beating till creamy. Now add this back to the big bowl of batter. Batter should be velvety smooth. Now if you were so inclined, you could fold some (1 1/2 cups) fresh berries into the batter. Or you could add berries on top later. Anyway, pour filling into the crust and refrigerate for at least 3 hours till set. It's even better if it sets overnight.