Almost-No-Bake Lemon Cheesecake

Baked cheesecake recipes are often laden with tricks and tips: leave the cake in the oven to cool, open the oven door and allow to cool overnight, bake till the centre no longer jiggles, bake till the centre just jiggles — it’s all too much for me. I just want a recipe that is fail-safe and delicious every time. Enter the Almost-No-Bake Lemon Cheesecake. I love this cheesecake because it so dang easy and delicious. I mean, please, you barely have to turn on the oven.

To me, the perfect cheesecake is dense and firm but still moist. Often times when cheesecakes are baked they get either spongy or dry — neither which is appealing to me — this is why a no-bake cheesecake is so fantastic. Since the cake isn’t baked and is set with gelatin (well, who am I kidding, it’s set with jello), you get a dense, firm cheesecake that has all the natural moisture of the cheese still in it because it hasn’t been baked!

This recipes call for whipped heavy cream and it is important that you whip the cream into very stiff peaks. You don’t need to make butter or anything, but just make sure that the whipped cream stands stiffly off the end of the whisk before folding it into the cheesecake batter.

Though I made this cheesecake with Chocolate Wafer Crust — Collin Murray loves the chocolate and lemon combo because he’s a little weird but you could also make it with a Graham Cracker Crust if that combination is more your style.

Almost-No-Bake Lemon Cheesecake (adapted from The New Saint Louis Symphony of Cooking)

Makes one 9 to 10-inch cheesecake

For the crust:

1 recipe Chocolate Wafer Crust

For the filling:

3-ounce box lemon jello

1 cup boiling water

3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

8 ounces cream cheese, softened

1 cup sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla paste or extract

1 cup heavy cream, whipped firm

To prepare the crust:

Prepare as recipe directs using a 9 to 10 inch spring form pan. Allow to cool slightly.

To prepare the filling:

Dissolve jello into the boiling water and add lemon juice. Allow to cool. In the bowl of a standing mixer, beat cream cheese, sugar and vanilla till smooth. Blend in the cooled jello/lemon mixture and beat till smooth.

Using a rubber spatula, gently fold the stiffly beaten heavy cream into the cheese/jello mixture. Pour the mixture into the cooled crust and chill for at least four hours. Enjoy!

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