Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Egg Free No Bake Cheesecake

I hinted that I was trying a new cheesecake recipe for Valentines Day this year-- I couldn't wait to share it.  So here it is!  Because it is no bake, it is lighter (in texture... not in calories) and fluffier than traditional baked cheesecakes.  It's also not as fussy as sometimes baked cheesecakes can be.  Drizzle with caramel sauce or fruit topping for a scrumptious treat.

Egg Free No Bake Cheesecake
From Egg Free Bakery

For crust:
1-1/2 cups fine graham cracker crumbs (1 pkg)
5 tbsp butter, melted
2 tsp sugar

For filling:
3 pkgs cream cheese, room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
1 envelope unflavored gelatin
pinch of salt
1 tbsp lemon juice
2 tsp vanilla extract
1-1/4 cups heavy cream, room temperature

For crust, process graham crackers into fine crumbs (if you haven't already)  Combine cracker crumbs, melted butter and sugar together in a bowl.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Press crumb mixture on the bottom and up the sides of a 9 inch springform pan or pie pan.  Bake 7-8 minutes.  Remove from oven and set aside to allow to cool.  

Meanwhile, pour 1/4 cup water into a small bowl and sprinkle gelatin on top of water.  Let soften 5 minutes.  Then microwave  mixture 30 seconds.  Remove from microwave and set aside.

In a large bowl, beat cream cheese, sugar and salt together until smooth, about 2 minutes.  Make sure the cream cheese is room temperature!  Otherwise you will most likely get lumps.  Slowly add lemon juice, vanilla extract and heavy cream, mixing about 2 minutes.  Add gelatin mixture.  Beat until mixture is fluffy, about 3 more minutes.  

Pour cream cheese filling over top of cooled crust.  Smooth the top.  Refrigerate at least 6 hours before serving.  Slice cheesecake into 12 pieces.  Serve with desired toppings:  fruit, chocolate sauce, caramel sauce etc.  Store covered in the fridge.

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