In the large category of cheesecakes, the one that is often overlooked, is what some call a "mock"
cheesecake, but what I prefer to call a "No Bake" cheesecake. A No Bake
Cheesecake, is just that, no baking in the oven is needed. Yet this
cheesecake still has
the rich and tangy flavor of cream cheese, and it is still smooth and creamy. The
difference is that it does not contain eggs or flour (or other thickeners)
and that is why it does not need to be baked. This also eliminates all the
problems normally associated with cheesecakes, like over baking and
If you grew up in the Sixties, you will probably remember this No Bake
While Julia Child may have been teaching the ways of French cooking, some
women were looking for fast, easy, and delicious. This No Bake Cheesecake
was the type of recipe found in women's magazines, community cookbooks, or
passed from neighbor to neighbor. Mothers loved it because it could be
whipped up in no time, it used common ingredients, and everyone, including
children, loved it.
A No Bake Cheesecake uses a graham cracker crumb
crust which is, by far, the simplest of all the pie crusts. (If you
would like to add a ginger flavor to the crust, replace 1/2 cup (50 grams)
of the graham cracker crumbs with crushed ginger gingers.) Now, if you
have problems with getting the right crust consistency, the test to see if
you have the right amount of crumbs to melted butter is, once you have
mixed the ingredients together, to squeeze some in your fist. If the
hold together, you have the perfect crust. Once the crust is made
and pressed into the tart pan, it is left to chill in the refrigerator. The next step is to simply mix the
filling ingredients together. This is done in two steps. First you
beat the cream cheese until soft and creamy and then beat in the sugar and
vanilla extract. (Try to use "pure" vanilla extract, not the "imitation",
as they are made with synthetic vanilla (from glycoside found in the
sapwood of certain conifers or from coal extracts) and leave a bitter
after taste. Products labeled 'Vanilla Flavoring' are a combination of
pure vanilla extract and imitation vanilla extract.) Then, in a separate
bowl, whip the heavy cream or double cream (cream that contains 36-40% butterfat) until soft peaks form. The final step is to gradually
fold, or beat, the whipped cream into the cream cheese mixture. Once that is done,
simply place the filling in the chilled crust, and refrigerate until firm.
After an hour or two you can spread the cherry pie filling over the
filling, or you can serve the filling on the side, which allows your
guests to take as much, or as little, as they like. Another idea is to
omit the cherry pie filling altogether and simply serve the cheesecake
with fresh fruit or this
raspberry sauce, or this
blueberry sauce. No Bake Cheesecake can be
stored in the refrigerator for several days.
Graham Cracker Crust:
a large bowl, mix together the graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and melted butter. Press onto the bottom and
up the sides of a well greased 8-9 inch (20-23 cm) tart pan with removable bottom.
(A spring form pan can also be used. Press the crumb mixture onto
the bottom and about one inch (2.5 cm) up the sides of the pan.) Cover
with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator to chill while you make the filling.
In the bowl of your electric mixer, or with a hand
mixer, beat the cream cheese until smooth. Add the sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Scrape
down the sides of the bowl and beat in the vanilla extract.
In a clean bowl, beat the whipping cream
until soft peaks form. Gradually fold or beat the whipped cream into the cream
cheese mixture. Pour the filling over the chilled graham cracker crust and
smooth the top. Cover and place in the refrigerator for about an hour and then
spread the cherry pie filling over the filling. Return to the refrigerator to
chill for several hours, or even overnight.
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