May 29, 2014

No-Bake Lemon Cheesecake

We love cheesecake in this house. It took me years to develop the perfect recipe; not too gritty, not too sweet, a perfect amount of tang. Then I lost the recipe for a year - it was a super depressing, cheesecakeless year.

Sometimes, though, people don't wanna wait 4-6 hours for a cheesecake to cool before it can be butchered...

So for those days, we whip up a no-bake cheesecake. Simple, versatile, sweet - it's really a perfect summer dessert.

The crust is prepared just like the one for my No-Bake Peanut Butter Chocolate Pudding Pie, only with a finer crumb and a different Girl Scout cookie (yes still). Prep the crust first, so it has time to chill in the fridge while you whip up the filling. 

It's like a big fat, fluffy cloud - only sweeter...and stickier. It's really tasty though, promise. Don't be hasty like me, really let the cream cheese come to room temperature, otherwise you get ugly lumps (no matter how long you beat the batter).

I happened to have a half-empty jar of store bought lemon curd chillin' in the fridge, so I threw that in between the crust and the cheesecake layer - it was heaven.

Fill the pan to the brim with your cheesecake filling and chill (yes, it still has to chill, but you can tough it out). To be honest, my cake still chilled overnight (mainly because I needed better lighting to photograph joke), but realistically it could be ready to slice in as little as an hour. Of course, the longer it chills, the firmer it gets, so it's up to your preference.

And there you have it - you're welcome.

No-Bake Lemon Cheesecake

1.5 C (about 40) Trefoil Girl Scout cookie crumbs (or other brand shortbread cookies)
1/4 unsalted butter, softened
1-8 oz box Neufchatel (or regular cream cheese), softened
8 oz sour cream
1/2 C granulated sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
4 oz whipped topping (1/2 small container of Cool Whip)
juice of 1/2 small lemon (optional)
1/2 C prepared lemon curd (optional)

In a large zip-top bag, crush shortbread cookies to a fine crumb. Combine crumbs and butter in a medium bowl and mix thoroughly to combine. Press into the bottom and up the sides of a 9-inch springform pan. Refrigerate until ready to fill.

In a large mixing bowl, beat together the cream cheese and sugar. Add sour cream, vanilla and lemon juice (if using), mix well. Fold in the whipped topping.

Remove crust from the refrigerator. Layer the lemon curd on top of the crust, carefully smoothing it to the edges. Fill with the cheesecake filling. Chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours, longer for a firmer texture.

Slice off a piece of that and enjoy!

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