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No Bake Cheesecake Recipe & Video

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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, the filling is not baked in the oven. But don't worry, this cheesecake still has that 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 doesn't need to be baked. This also eliminates all the problems normally associated with cheesecakes, like over baking and cracking.

If you grew up in the Sixties, you will probably remember this No Bake Cheesecake dessert. 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 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, try replacing 1/2 cup (50 grams) of the graham cracker crumbs with crushed ginger cookies. Once the crust is made and simply chilled, the next step is to make the cream cheese filling. Only four ingredients are mixed together for this filling; cream cheese, sugar, vanilla extract, and heavy whipping cream. The filling is placed in the chilled crust, and refrigerated until firm. Once chilled you can spread the cherry pie filling over the cream cheese filling, or you can serve it 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 serve the cheesecake with fresh fruit, a fruit sauce, lemon curd, or even a chocolate sauce.

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Graham Cracker Crust: In a large bowl, mix together the graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and melted butter. Press onto the bottom and up the sides of a buttered 8 or 9 inch (20 or 23 cm) tart pan with a removable bottom. (Can also use an 8 or 9 inch (20 or 23 cm) spring form pan. Press the crumb mixture onto the bottom and 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.

Cheesecake Filling: In the bowl of your electric stand mixer, fitted with the whisk attachment (or with a hand mixer), whip the cream until soft peaks form. Transfer the whipped cream to a clean bowl. Next, place the cream cheese in the same bowl you whipped the cream. Using the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese until smooth. Add the sugar and vanilla extract and beat until light and fluffy. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed.

Gradually fold or beat the whipped cream into the cream cheese mixture until smooth and creamy. Pour the filling over the chilled graham cracker crust and smooth the top with the back of a spoon or an offset spatula. Cover and place in the refrigerator for at least an hour before serving. You can spread the cherry filling over the cream cheese filling or serve it on the side. The No Bake Cheesecake can be stored in the refrigerator for about five days.

Makes about 8 servings. Preparation time 20 minutes.

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Graham Cracker Crust:

1 1/2 cups (150 grams) Graham Cracker Crumbs or crushed Digestive Biscuits

1 tablespoon (15 grams) granulated white sugar (optional)

6 tablespoons (85 grams) unsalted butter, melted

No Bake Cheesecake Filling:

1 cup (240 ml/grams) cold heavy whipping cream (contains 36-40% butterfat)

8 ounces (227 grams) full fat cream cheese, at room temperature

1/4 cup (50 grams) granulated white sugar

1 teaspoon (4 grams) pure vanilla extract

Topping:

1 - 21 ounce can (595 grams) cherry pie filling and topping

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