While nothing beats a heavy, baked cheesecake suitable for 1-leg RDLs, I also like the fluffy, whipped, gelatin-based, no-bake cakes too. Here’s a no-bake cheesecake recipe that is nice and light tasting, but velvety and oh-so delicious. My non-V-life wife and I are currently fighting over it …
Note that in the pic, I used a 8x8 pan, but the recipe calls for 6x6. That just means the filling is not as thick. Next time I plan on doubling the filling recipe (I like the crust thin, though).
1 cup of crushed pecans
1/8 cup butter (omega-3 if you’ve got it)
1 stick of light or fat-free cream cheese, softened
125 ml of whipping cream
1 plump lemon
1 envelope of gelatin
1/2 cup Splenda (or to taste, see below)
Make a standard pecan crust in a 6x6 baking pan by melting the butter and mixing it with the crushed pecans, then pressing it down to the bottom of the pan. Smooth it out with a spoon, and pop it in the fridge to firm up. A spring-loaded cake pan is ideal for cheesecakes, so use it if you’ve got it.
Grate the rind from the lemon into a small bowl, and combine the rind with the juice from said lemon. You may want to strain the lemon if your juicing method results in a lot of pulp. Also, if you want the cake to look fancier (like it’s going to last that long), set aside some of the rind to sprinkle on top.
Blend the cream cheese and lemon juice together. I used the ol’ hand-mixer for this. Add the Splenda and mix. Set aside in the fridge while you do the next step.
Whip the whipping cream until nice and stiff. If you’ve never whipped cream before, make sure your bowl is small and high-walled (I used a big-ass coffee cup), and that it and your mixer paddles are chilled first. You want to whip it on as high a speed as your mixer will go without emptying the bowl all over your walls. It will take a good 2-3 minutes to get it whipped, and should form nice peaks when you lift up the mixer. Note that this is not a lot of cream, so you may just need one paddle on your mixer.
On low speed, mix the whipped cream in with the cream cheese until just blended. Now is a good time to taste and add more Splenda if you like it sweeter (I like my cheesecake quite tart). Pop it back in the fridge for the next step.
Prepare the gelatin per directions on the package. Usually this involves a small amount of hot water to dissolve the gelatin, so make sure to let it cool to room temperature before the next step.
Blend the gelatin into the cream cheese mixture, then pour it onto the crust. Pop it in the fridge, and let it set for a good three or four hours (or overnight).
Sprinkle extra rind on top for that fancy presentation look, if you set some aside in step 2. If you’re like me, you can’t be bothered, because the cheesecake is unlikely to be seen by anyone else …
Dig in and enjoy!
You could use a light whipped-topping instead of whipped cream if you are avoiding dairy, or don’t want to go through the trouble of whipping it. Personally I wasn’t able to find an unsweetened one. Besides, I like whipped cream, dairy or no.
I actually tossed a bit of Splenda in the crust too, to sweeten it a bit. That’s a matter of personal taste.