Recipe: Anna Olsen’s no bake cheesecake
Did you know today, July 30, is National Cheesecake Day? A great excuse to eat this delicious favourite dessert this weekend. Blueberries are also in season right now making this combination dreamy.
No Bake Cheesecake with Blueberry Sauce
Serves 12 TO 16
(MAKES ONE 9-INCH/23 CM CHEESECAKE)
PREP TIME: 20 MINUTES, PLUS CHILLING
1½ cups (375 g) graham cracker crumbs or gluten-free cookie crumbs, or egg-free cookie crumbs
½ cup (115 g) unsalted butter, melted (see note)
1 cup (250 mL) whipping cream
24 oz (750 g) cream cheese, room temperature
1 cup (130 g) icing sugar
½ cup (125 mL) crème fraiche (see note)
1½ Tbsp (22 mL) fresh lemon juice
1 Tbsp (15 mL) vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste
Fresh berries, for serving
2 cups (500 mL) fresh blueberries
½ cup (100 g) granulated sugar
1 Tbsp (15 mL) lemon juice
1 Tbsp (15 mL) cornstarch
Lightly grease a 9-inch (23 cm) springform pan and line the bottom and sides with parchment paper.
For the crust, combine the graham cracker (or gluten-free or egg-free) crumbs and melted butter and press firmly into the bottom of the pan. Chill for an hour, or freeze while preparing the filling.
For the cheesecake, using electric beaters or a stand mixer fitted with the whip attachment, whip the cream until it holds a soft peak. Chill until ready to use.
Using electric beaters or a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese at medium-high speed until light and fluffy, scraping down the sides of the bowl a few times. Add the icing sugar ¼ cup (32 g) at a time, beating well (start on slow and increase to medium) and scraping well after each addition. Beat in the crème fraîche, lemon juice and vanilla and beat until smooth.
Add the whipped cream to the cream cheese and fold in by hand. Pour the cheesecake filling (it will be pourable but will set up once chilled) over the chilled crust and refrigerate, uncovered, for at least 6 hours, ideally overnight.
For the blueberry sauce, bring the blueberries, sugar and lemon juice up to a simmer over medium heat, stirring occasionally, cooking until the blueberries are soft and tender, about 10 minutes. Whisk the cornstarch with 2 tablespoons (30 mL) of cold water and add this to the blueberries, stirring and returning to a simmer until the sauce has thickened and is glossy. Set aside to cool to room temperature and then chill completely.
Serve the cheesecake with a generous spoonful of blueberry sauce. The whole cheesecake will keep, uncovered, in the fridge for up to 3 days. Leftovers should be loosely covered and refrigerated.
Baking a graham crust helps to set it. This unbaked crust relies on the set of chilled butter to get it to stay in place and slice without crumbling, so more butter is needed in this recipe than for a baked graham crust. If you wish to reduce the butter, use ¼ cup (60 g), bake the crust for 10 minutes at 350°F (180°C) and cool completely before filling.
Crème fraîche is a French style of rich sour cream that has the same fat content as (or more fat than) whipping cream. Unfortunately, fat is the reason you cannot use regular sour cream. Part of the reason this cheesecake sets on its own is that the lemon juice reacts with the fat in the crème fraîche and whipping cream, thickening it and creating a creamy but sliceable cheesecake.
Adapted from Baking Day with Anna Olson, Appetite by Random House, 2020.
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