Can you have a good cheesecake with just little sugar and no eggs? Can it be smooth and creamy, and melts in your mouth and before you could even think, you’ve already reached for your next bite? Why, yes and yes! Say hello to our family’s lifelong addiction: the no-bake cheesecake. This is also perfect for those who don’t like the heaviness of regular cheesecake. Perhaps you could even say it’s a tad better for indulgences, too. Maybe…I like to think that. -Joy
No-bake cheesecake and our family goes way, way back in the 80′s. My mother would spend Friday or Saturday nights on the dining table after dinner with her bowls, wooden spoons, stand mixer and springform pan to make cheesecake. The truth is, for the longest time I thought cheesecake was only made using my mom’s no-bake method. Hahaha.! Unfortunately, my mom doesn’t have the recipe anymore. I think everyone in our family will agree –that was gut-wrenchingly sad.
Uh, what are we going to do now?!
Sometime between my teenage years and our move to Canada, there was a cheesecake void in our household, we all got busy and us kids moved cities away for high school and university.
It wasn’t until 2002 or 2003 that I discovered (and had the inclination to make) a no-bake cheesecake recipe online. It didn’t quite taste like my mom’s but the methodology was close. I tweaked the ingredients until we were all satisfied with the taste. Then, at some point–GASP!–I lost the recipe. Gone. Not in my computer. Not in my mom’s. Our family friend, Tita Thess (go check her out, she makes gorgeous bead jewelry) even asked for the recipe many moons ago, but it turns out I never sent it to her. In between moving and traveling, and not being in the kitchen much, the recipe was gone. There was no trace of it.
For the longest time, I’ve put off creating a recipe from scratch to replicate my mom’s no-bake cheesecake because a) it’s so time-consuming to get the combination; and b) I almost had it and then I lost it! Exasperating to say the least. However, these are the things in life you just have to be grown up about and deal with–so I did. These were the only things I remembered it had and outlines my starting point:
- 2 8-ounce packages of cream cheese
- some amount of sour cream
- some amount of Knox unflavoured gelatin
- graham crackers
- lemon zest (god…that lemon zest that I would forever associate with cheesecake!)
It’s rather vague to say the least. I’m looking at my notes on my calendar (yes, I know) and it was still back in the beginning of February. And let’s just say that my weight is pretty much indicative of the amount of cheesecake I’ve consumed to reach until March to get the recipe right. I just can be so dedicated to finding a “solution” to my problem that I will not stop until everything is resolved — in this case, until the taste, texture and consistency is correct.
How hard could it be to come up with our “holy grail” recipe?
I got the recipe for the crust right the 1st try, but the cake was lumpy because of the difference in temperature between the dissolved gelatin and the cream cheese mixture. It tasted good (not the best–too sweet), but one never should have to associate cheesecake with the word lumpy (= lame).
On the second try, the cheesecake tasted better (still not perfect), but the texture was smoother. However, the cheesecake held up so well it almost looked fake, like when you buy cheesecake at a cheap establishment and it’s almost like buying white Jell-O. Not good.
And then the third: melts-in-your-mouth no-bake cheesecake. And I made it again and again. And it’s done.
Get the recipe for the No-Bake Cheesecake now! (PDF download included)