Creating memories in the kitchen...One meal at a time.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Creamy and Delicious No Bake Lemon Cheesecake

I love lemons. They're so pretty, they smell amazing and you can use them in so many different ways. Lemons are something I ALWAYS have in my fridge. From marinades to zests for cookies or cakes, juice for that extra zing of flavor or a nice tall glass of fresh squeezed lemonade the possibilities go on and on. Spring just brings the lemon-lover out in me even more.

The latest issue of Cook's Country included this delicious recipe for a lemon no bake cheesecake. The picture looked amazing but I'll be honest. I was a little skeptical going in to this recipe because I am such a real deal, no substitutions for the real thing kind of girl. I was even secretly plotting back up dessert plans in my mind because heaven forbid the most important part of the meal wouldn't turn out!
Fortunately, it turned out even better than I ever could have expected. Creamy and light, lemony and delicious. Certain persons who will remain nameless might have even had seconds! Perfect for when the temperature is rising and turning on the oven in the last thing in the world you want to do. This recipe will go in my "it's a keeper file."

No Bake Lemon Cheesecake
slightly adapted from Cook's Country
Serves 12 to 16

9 whole graham crackers
5 tbsp. butter, melted
1 tsp. lemon zest
10 lemon sandwich cookies crushed
2 tbsp. butter, melted
1 tsp. lemon zest

1 large egg plus 1 egg yolk
1/4 cup sugar
Pinch salt
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 tablespoon heavy cream
1/4 cup lemon juice from 2 lemons
1 envelope (2 3/4 teaspoons) unflavored gelatin
1 1/2 pounds cream cheese , cut into 1-inch pieces and softened (3 8 oz. pkgs.)
3/4 cup sugar
Pinch salt
1 1/4 cups heavy cream , room temperature
1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Process graham crackers or cookies in food processor until finely ground. Add butter and zest and pulse until combined. Press mixture into bottom of 9-inch springform pan. Bake until lightly browned and set, about 10 minutes. Cool completely on wire rack, at least 30 minutes.
2. While crust is cooling, whisk egg, egg yolk, sugar, and salt together in small saucepan. Add lemon juice and cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until thick and puddinglike, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in butter and cream. Press through fine-mesh strainer into small bowl and refrigerate until needed.
3. Combine lemon juice and gelatin in small bowl and let stand until gelatin softens, about 5 minutes. Microwave until mixture is bubbling around edges and gelatin dissolves, about 30 seconds. Set aside.
4. With electric mixer on medium speed, beat cream cheese, sugar, and salt until smooth and creamy, scraping down sides of bowl, about 2 minutes. Slowly add cream and beat until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add gelatin mixture and ¼ cup curd, increase speed to medium-high, and beat until smooth and airy, about 3 minutes.
5. Pour filling into cooled crust and smooth top. Following photos, pour thin lines of remaining curd on top of cake and lightly drag paring knife or skewer through lines to create marbled appearance. Refrigerate until set, at least 6 hours. Remove sides of pan. Serve. Cheesecake can be covered in plastic wrap and refrigerated for up to 3 days.
Posted by: Sallie
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