Wednesday, February 27, 2013

No-Bake Cheesecake - Ditch the Box

My family loves those cheesecakes that are no-bake and come as a boxed mix.  We make them normally in the summer when I don't want to heat up the house. 

A few weeks ago, back before Rocky, Blizzard #2, 2013, we had some terrific weather,  weather that was perfect for BBQ hamburgers and no-bake cheesecake.  Mmm... I can just remember now how wonderful it was to sit out on our porch in the swing, smelling that delicious aroma of BBQ as the sun set and enjoying a 75 degree evening.  Missouri is crazy like that.  One week we get 76 degrees in February and the next we can have 26 inches of snow on the ground.  No kidding!

I am always on the hunt for something I can make AT HOME MY WAY that will satisfy a family favorite that we typically get from the store or in a box.  One of my favorite resources for homemade everything is Finding Joy in My Kitchen.  Sno-White offers recipes on her blog that are easy to make and dependably scrumptious.

I didn't know if this cheesecake would taste exactly like our favorite no-bake cherry cheesecake, but I knew one thing.  It would be delicious!

This super easy cheesecake is f-a-b-u-l-o-u-s!  I found it as close to a boxed no-bake cheesecake as you could possibly get.  Let's see, with the box you have to mix the graham cracker crumbs with sugar and butter, use a mixer, a bowl, and some measuring cups.  You're really not that many steps ahead by using the box.

I say, trade in your box of no-bake cherry cheesecake and try this homemade version.  It will knock your socks off!

Sno-White does make her own berry topping.  You can find her exact recipe for the cheesecake, her crust, and the mixed berry sauce HERE.  Our small town grocery store didn't have any cherries, frozen or fresh, so I had to use a can of cherry pie filling.  I did keep my cherry pie filling separate from my pie so that it kept fresh longer, but you could spoon it on like you do for the boxed version if you want.  Sno-White also assembles hers right before eating but I found it worked perfect for a cheesecake!

Here's how I made No-Bake Cheesecake - AT HOME MY WAY:

No-Bake Cheesecake

  • 1 1/2 cups finely crushed graham crackers (1 package of graham crackers crushed fine)
  • 1/3 cup butter/margarine, melted
  • 3 Tablespoons sugar
  • 8 oz. cream cheese, softened (I used fat free) (I put it in the micro for a few seconds to soften.) 
  • 2/3 cup powdered sugar
  • 2/3 cup whipping cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon corn syrup (optional)

1 can cherry pie filling (I haven't tried making my own yet.)

I started with this huge bag of graham cracker crumbs.  My daughter's friend had a huge bag that she got somewhere and she had more than she could use.  I had no idea what I would do with a bag of graham cracker crumbs but, hey!  I took them and stuck them in the freezer.  Now that I have tasted how delicious and easy it is to make a graham cracker crust, I will be putting more fillings in graham cracker crusts!  Yummo!  They keep perfectly in the freezer and I just measured them out of the bag.
Combine the graham cracker crumbs with the sugar.  Stir well.   Add the melted margarine and stir well.  It should look something like this:

Dump the crust mixture into a microwavable pie pan and you will avoid heating up the oven.

 I use the bottom of a small measuring cup to press the crust into the pan.  I use my hands a little also to form the sides.

I put my pie pan/crust in the microwave and cooked on high for 1 minute.  This  will "set" the crust.  Let cool completely before adding the cream cheese mixture.

Cheesecake filling instructions:

In a medium  mixing bowl, using a mixer, beat the cream cheese for 2-3 minutes or until smooth and well whipped. Add in 2/3 cup powdered sugar and 1 teaspoon vanilla, and whip again until smooth.

In a separate bowl, using your mixer, whip the 2/3 cup of whipping cream.  Whip just until stiff peaks form and then add in 1/2 teaspoon corn syrup.  Sno-White said that this helps the whipping cream keep its shape.  Whip again.

Carefully fold the whipping cream gently into the cream cheese mixture until combined well.

Pour the cheesecake filling into the COMPLETELY COOLED crust.  Spread evenly.

Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until serving or at least an hour.  Serve with cherry pie filling.


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