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Everyone loves a cool, creamy cheesecake for dessert in the summertime, but nobody wants to take the time, effort, and energy to bake a classic cheesecake in the oven. This includes me – I have a fantastic recipe, but it requires lots of time in the oven for the crust, on the stove top for the sauce, and in the fridge (12 hours) to chill.
Lucky for you, I’ve played around with the “no bake” cheesecake concept over the past couple of years to create a version of my yummy lemon and berry cheesecake that keeps the texture, flavor, and appeal of the original, but without being labor-intensive.
Too many no-bake cheesecake recipes disappoint me because they are too sweet, too runny (don’t set well), or taste too harsh because of so much raw cream cheese. Today’s recipe features a texture reminiscent of a key lime pie marrying a baked cheesecake, a wonderful lemon flavor courtesy of fresh lemon juice and store-bought lemon curd, and fresh berries.
I opted to not cook the blueberries on the stove with sugar and instead just put the fresh blueberries in the cheesecake and sprinkle everything with a little organic sugar. This saves energy and keeps the cheesecake from becoming too sweet.
You can also tweak this recipe to create great mini cheesecakes. When I make minis, I either top them with strawberries or a couple of sour lemon candies!
I recommend that you follow the instructions below exactly as written. The most important aspect of making a no-bake cheesecake is how you mix the ingredients, as this determines how well (or poorly!) the filling sets. The key to keeping this cheesecake from getting too dense is to whip cream from scratch and gently fold it into the filling as the very last step.
This recipe will make 24 mini-muffin-tin cheesecakes, 2 large pie-sized cheesecakes, or 12 mini-muffin-tin cheesecakes and 1 pie-sized cheesecake as shown.
Most importantly for the day this recipe goes live, the red, white, and blue from the strawberries, cheesecake filling, and blueberries provides a great visual as the dessert for your 4th of July party!
No-Bake Lemon and Blueberry Cheesecake
- 16 oz. Cream cheese, softened
- 1 c. Heavy whipping cream
- 1 tbsp. Powdered sugar
- ½ tsp. Pure vanilla extract
- 1 c. Lemon curd (found in jar on jelly/jam aisle in store)
- ½ c. Sour cream
- 3 tbsp. Fresh squeezed lemon juice
- ½ c. Sweetened condensed milk
- 10 oz. Shortbread cookie package
- 1 Sweet cream, salted butter stick, melted
- ½ tbsp. Organic white sugar
- 1 Pint fresh blueberries
- 1 Pint fresh strawberries or 1 Lemon candy package for topping
1) Add the shortbread cookies to a food processor and process until the cookies become fine crumbs.
2) Add the crumbs to a mixing bowl with melted butter and mix to combine.
3) Press into the bottoms of muffin cups or pie pans.
4) Add the heavy whipping cream, powdered sugar, and pure vanilla extract to a bowl. Whip together using a stand or hand mixer until fluffy and sets into whipped cream. Do not over-whip. Once fluffy, turn off the mixer and set it aside.
5) In a separate large bowl, using a hand mixer or stand mixer, whip the cream cheese on a low setting for 30 seconds.
6) Pause and add the lemon curd, sour cream, and fresh lemon juice to the whipped cream cheese and mix on medium speed for 1 minute until smooth.
7) Pause and pour in the sweetened, condensed milk. Mix on medium/high speed for 30 seconds to 1 minute until fully incorporated and creamy. Turn the mixer off and set aside or remove from stand mixer.
8) Gently fold the whipped cream into the lemony cream cheese mixture using a spatula. Do not over-mix or over-fold – just fold in until combined. This is the finished filling.
9) Place a layer of fresh blueberries and a sprinkle of organic white sugar on top of the cookie crumb crust in the pies or mini muffin wrappers.
10) Evenly add and spread the filling into each container and smooth the tops.
11) Top with lemon candies or sliced strawberries. Freeze for 3 hours and move to the refrigerator until ready to serve, or chill overnight for a minimum of 8 hours.
These cheesecakes need a while to fully chill and set up, but this is no different than any regular baked cheesecake. The fastest way to have these ready is to do the first 3 hours in the freezer, and then move the cheesecakes to the refrigerator until ready to serve.
Happy 4th of July!
Check back in every week for more Direct Your Dining recipes to help reduce your energy use in the kitchen while getting creative with delicious dishes!
Recipe and Images by Stacie Morgan