Tuesday, October 21, 2014

No-Bake Cherry Cheesecake

My mother was not a Martha Stewart or very "Pinteresting" in the kitchen. She always followed recipes and I don't remember her experimenting in the kitchen very often. In the days before Pinterest, All Recipes and even Martha, she used cookbooks. Sometimes Amish or Mennonite cookbooks, but more often than not she bought the church 'potluck' books that were compiled by the church ladies. And some of her most requested dishes came from recipes on the labels of cans and boxes.

So, when I tell people about "My Mother's World Famous No-Bake Cherry Cheesecake" what I really mean is the (take deep breath) "Eagle Brand® Sweetened Condensed Milk Cherry Cream Cheese Pie" recipe (what a mouthful). Which, I just discovered, is online here. But, since I find myself referring more to this blog than to my recipe books for the 'repeat' dishes that please- I'm posting it here as well.

You can see, that this is not an Eagle Brand sponsored post. I'm all for buying the cheaper brand, as might be obvious with the White Rose Cream Cheese and Kirkland Vanilla extract.
I decided to use these little dishes, but traditionally this recipe is for a standard 9inch pie pan (or crust from the grocery store). I wanted to trey and use these 9 tiny dishes instead, and it worked out pretty well. Like my mother, changing the size of the dish used is as much as I improvise. When we have company over, I use a 9x13 inch baking dish, and double the recipe.

I find that making my graham cracker crust is incredibly simple. but you can always buy yours. If you're interested in how I do it--

  Easy Graham Cracker Crust
1 package of plain Graham Crackers (there are usually three in a box)
1/3 cup of softened butter or margarine
1/4 cup white sugar (optional- I don't but my mother does)
I take the graham crackers and break them up into a large Ziplock bag. Seal it, and then pulverize the crackers with a rolling pin. Put the crumbs in a bowl and squish the crumbs together with the butter until mixed well. Press into whatever plate or dish you are using.
Perfect for a 9inch pie plate, or double for a 9x13 inch baking dish.
So, now that you have your crust ready, it's time to fill it.

No-Bake Cheesecake Recipe
1 8oz package of cream cheese, softened to room temperature
1 14oz can of sweetened condensed milk
1/3 cup of lemon juice (those tiny lemon bulbs are exactly 1/3 cup)
1 tsp. vanilla extract 
Blend the room temperature cream cheese on high until it is nice and 'whipped'. I find this step important so that the end result is nice and creamy, without lumps. 
Then, add in the remaining ingredients. Blend until it is smooth and without lumps. 
Spoon the mixture into your pie plate (or baking dish or cups).  
Chill for 2-3 hours, to make the cheesecake 'firm'.
-This is not going to be a firm New York style version, but I prefer it this way.  
Add topping of your choice. We generally use cherry pie filling, but you class it up with fresh fruit, chocolate shavings, or no topping at all.

And, since I love seeing the process, here's some photos to refer to.
So tell me...
Do you like runny or firm cheesecake?
Have you ever made (and Loved) a product label recipe?
What toppings would you use?

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It's about that time again! Six months ago I wrote from A-Z, a different letter every day in April (except Sundays). This time around I'm going to write a post every day in October, hence Blogtober. Clever, huh?

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The Daily Tay

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