I have developed dozens of cheesecakes over the years. At one point, I even launched a cheesecake company.
But a recent request from a reader made me realize that my focus has been almost exclusively on baked cheesecakes. A quick scan of my files shows only two no-bake cheesecakes. This post is one small and very tasty step toward correcting that omission.
Refrigerator cheesecakes can be dynamite. If you love creamy, silky, and light, this style cheesecake will definitely ring your holiday bells. And although unbaked cheesecakes are just as glamorous as their baked cousins, they are close to fool-proof to make. No trepidation over baking time or telltale cracks.
But there is a potential issue with this type of dessert: a considerable portion of the volume consists of meringue (or sometimes whipped cream)–which as you know has very little flavor. To balance that, the flavor element of the dessert must pack a double punch.
This is where Spiced Pumpkin Maple Butter comes it. It is essentially pureed pumpkin, reduced to a flavor-packed paste with sugar, maple syrup, and spices. It is incredibly delicious—the perfect flavor element for a no-bake cheesecake.
Dreamy, Creamy Pumpkin Butter Cheesecake
This is a new-fangled, old-fashioned refrigerator (no-bake) cheesecake lightened with a billowy meringue. A judicious amount of gelatin is used to help the cheesecake hold its shape.
Sour Cream-Yogurt Cheese Topping
2 cups sour cream
¼ cup sugar
2½ tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup fine, dry, gingersnap cookie crumbs (20-24 store-bought gingersnaps)
Pumpkin Butter Cheesecake
2 teaspoons plain gelatin (1 packet)
2 tablespoons unsweetened apple juice
two, 8-ounce packages premium cream cheese
¼ cup sugar
2 cups Spiced Pumpkin Maple Butter (or other prepared Pumpkin Butter; 10-ounce jar = 1 cup)
finely grated zest of 1 large lemon
finely grated zest of one medium orange
4 egg whites, room temperature
1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
2 tablespoons sugar
¼ cup Gingersnap Crumble (from above)
- To prepare the pan, spray a 9-inch removable-bottom springform pan lightly with vegetable spray.
- To make the Gingersnap Crumble, in a small sauté pan, melt the butter, add the cookie crumbs, and stir to coat the crumbs with butter. Sauté for 2-3 minutes, stirring slowly, until the mixture begins to toast and become fragrant. Don’t burn it! Remove from the heat and immediately sprinkle ¾-cup cookie crumbs on the bottom of the prepared pan. Press the crumbs evenly and firmly onto the bottom, making sure not to get any crumbs on the sides of the pan. Reserve remaining ¼-cup cookie crumbs for garnish later.
- To bloom and then melt the gelatin, in a shallow wide saucer, add the apple juice and sprinkle the gelatin evenly over the surface. Let soften for 10 minutes, and then heat briefly in a microwave oven, just until the gelatin melts and there are no visible grains. Let cool slightly.
- To make the cheesecake, using a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese with the sugar until smooth and creamy, scraping the sides of the bowl several times in the process. Add 2 cups Spiced Pumpkin Maple Butter and beat until smooth. With the machine running on slow, add the still hot, melted gelatin. Mix to incorporate.
- Remove the batter to a large mixing bowl and clean the mixer bowl.
- Again using a stand mixer, this time fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites and cream of tartar until soft peaks form. Gradually add 2 tablespoons sugar and continue beating just until the peaks become stiff and glossy. Don’t take this too far though, or the meringue may clump and weep.
- Fold a large scoop of beaten egg whites into the cream cheese batter to lighten it, and then carefully and thoroughly fold in the remainder.
- Pour the batter onto the prepared crust, smooth the top, cover with a dome of foil, and refrigerate for at least 8 hours.
- To make the topping, in a small mixing bowl, combine the sour cream and sugar. Whisk to dissolve the sugar. Reserve.
- After the cheesecake is set, smooth on the sour cream-yogurt topping and refrigerate for at least 2 hours more.
- To serve, remove the outside ring from the cheesecake pan, sprinkle the top of the cheesecake with Gingersnap Crumble, and position the cheesecake on a serving platter.
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- Bake Me Something Good: Peanut Butter Cheesecake Tarts
- Bakers Royale: Oreo Cookies and Cream No-Bake Cheesecake
- Buttercream & Chantilly Factory: No Bake Salted Butter Caramel Cheesecake
- How Sweet It Is: No-Bake Sweet Potato Cheesecakes
- Ooh, Look: No Bake Chocolate Cheesecake
- I Adore Food: No Bake Peanut Butter Cheesecake
- Lost Recipes Found: Very Airy No-Bake Cheesecake
- My Baking Addiction: Biscoff No Bake Cheesecake
- My Baking Addiction: Mint Chocolate No Cake Cheesecake
- SheKnows: No Bake Chocolate Cheesecake
- USMasala: No Bake Nutella Cheesecake
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Copyright 2011 Susan S. Bradley. All rights reserved.