Cheesecake with Strawberry Syrup
Well, it’s almost Summer here in New Jersey, and that means it gets HOT! So, here’s a really light and delicious No-Bake Cheesecake you’re sure to love…not lighting an oven when it’s 90 degrees is more than fine with me. It tastes so light and fluffy, you want more than 1 slice.
1 cup Gluten-free Graham- like Cookies Crumbs (Schar brand is used here)
Or use a Shortbread type of your choice.
3 tbsp Sweet Butter-softened
10 oz. Cream Cheese room temperature, separate into 3 or 4 chunks
1 tsp. unflavored Gelatin
1 cup Heavy Cream-beaten or whipped till peaks are formed
2/3 cup Granulated Sugar
1 stick Sweet ( unsalted) Butter, cut into several pieces and at room temp
¼ cup Sour Cream
¼ cup Orange Juice
2 Tbsp Fresh Lime Juice
Pinch of sea salt
1 pint Fresh Strawberries, cleaned, and removed of green stems and halved.
1/3 cup Granulated Sugar
¼ cup Water ( or a drop more if needed)
First, Prepare the sauce, and this can be done a day ahead if you wish.
Just take a saucepan large enough to accommodate the entire pint of strawberries!
Place the water in the pan with sugar. Heat on medium just to dissolve the sugar. Throw in ( not really throw!) the strawberries and keep heating and stirring until you have shrunk them. Then on the lowest heat, simmer for a while until you’ve achieved the consistency you like and it’s “syrup-y”.
Certainly, add a drop more water if you feel it’s not liquidy enough. The last step, simmering on Low, should take about 10 minutes. But stand near it, not to burn the syrup. You can tell when it’s thickened. Refrigerate when cooled, with a lid.
Prepare the pan:
Using an 8 x 8x 2in cake pan.
Grease the bottom and sides, and then line with a long sheet of plastic wrap. Leaving enough to hang over sides by at least 4 inches from the top. This is your “handle” when it’s time to lift cake out of pan. Don’t grease the inside of the plastic wrap…only grease the empty pan.
To prepare the cookie base:
I took a mini-food processor, the type you can use to grind nuts, and put the cookies, broken in half, in it and just pulsed until I had really made crumbs.
Place in a bowl and add the softened or melted butter. Combine very well until it’s all moistened.
Take that prepared cake pan, and press the moist cookie crumbs into the bottom and spread evenly on bottom. Use clean hands, that’s always the best way. Set aside till filling is ready.
Take a small pot and place 2 Tbsp. water in it and add the gelatin. Let stand for about 5-10 minutes until soft.
Using electric beater, whip the heavy cream until peaks are formed. Place in fridge to remain cold.
In another large bowl, beat the sugar, butter and pinch of salt until creamed and fluffy, approx. 4-5 minutes. Add cream cheese while beaters are going, in sections, and keep incorporating as you add, Then add the orange juice, lime juice and sour cream.
Now, get that pot with the gelatin, and gently heat over low flame just until dissolved, stirring as it does this.
Fold this well into the cream cheese mixture, and then fold in the whipped heavy cream. Just fold in, manually, not to deflate. Don’t use beaters for this. Too much beating will deflate the whipped nature.
Pour over the crust and smooth with a straight sided spatula to create a flat top surface.. Chill well, covered with aluminum foil, but stretch it flat over the top of pan, so as not to touch the surface of the cheese cake.
Must chill cake for several hours.
You can make this the day ahead, (if you’re entertaining, that’s a nice thing!)
When ready to serve, use that plastic wrap to SLOWLY and gently lift out of the pan, onto a plate. Cut into squares, as seen in photo.
On serving, pour that delicious strawberry syrup over the top. Enjoy the No-Bake cheesecake!
*Note: The original recipe came from bon appetit magazine. Their crust was transitioned for our gluten free needs, & turned to be terrific!!