We've been having somewhat of a heatwave in the Northeast the last couple of weeks--you know 90º plus days with high humidity, definitely not the kind of weather that makes you want to turn on the oven, but with tomorrow being one of our most important American holidays--it's National Cheesecake Day (ha ha!) I didn't want to leave you in the lurch. That's why I'm so excited to share with you today this Famous Fridays post featuring Lauren Chattman's Icebox Cakes and her fantastic and almost no-bake recipe for Lemon Blackberry Cheesecake! It's the perfect summery dessert!
Now don't get mad or God forbid hit that unsubscribe button, but cheesecake is not one of my favorite desserts. There I've done it now! If you're still reading, let me explain. It's not a hate thing--if we go to Cheesecake Factory and someone orders a decadent candy topped slice I'm there digging in with my fork just as much as the next person, it's just if I had the choice of dessert genres, cheesecake would be low on the list. That also explains the dearth of cheesecake recipes on the site. So when I say I LOVE this blackberry lemon version, and would actually pick it and not just because it's such a gorgeous color, you know it's a winner. That and the fact that it's quite possibly one of the easiest impressive looking desserts I've ever made which segues nicely into my plug for Lauren Chattman and her terrific no-bake dessert cookbooks.
If you've never heard of Lauren you're missing out on some great no-fuss treats. I've already featured her once before with this Piña Colada Pie from her Icebox Pies (it's super delish and delightfully easy to whip up) and now I'm in love with her icebox cookbook too. There are recipes I'm dying to try if I only had the time and better willpower, like Black Forest Icebox Cake, Triple Chocolate Mousse Terrine, Strawberry Custard Doughnut Cake, Winter Pudding Cake (I have to remember this one for later in the year!) especially if all of those are even half as good as this light, fruity and creamy Blackberry Lemon Cheesecake! I just know you're going to adore making and eating it!!
You start by whipping up a simple butter and ground vanilla wafer crumb crust which only bakes for about 6-8 minutes.
The filling is entirely made in the food processor with the exception of the gelatin mixture which gets heated on the stovetop for about a minute and then blended with the blackberry/lemon/cream cheese mixture and eventually poured into the cooled crust. Look at that amazing purpleness!!
The most difficult part is waiting for the cake to chill! When it's ready, you're rewarded with an eye catching cake that combines the wonderful flavors of blackberry and lemon in every creamy bite! It's a perfect party dessert and only you have to know how easy it was to whip up! Let 'em all think you slaved away for hours in the kitchen for them. Oughta win you major points!!
So for easy dessert-making pick up a copy of something by Lauren Chattman, have a great weekend filled with cheesecake (or your favorite substitute) and enjoy the summer--it goes by so fast!!
Icebox Cakes' Almost No- Bake Lemon Blackberry Cheesecake-Famous Fridays
Prep Time: 30 minutes, plus at least 6 hours of chilling time
For the crust
- About 25 store-bought vanilla wafers (about 1 1/3 cups crumbs)
- 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
For the filling
- 1 envelope unflavored gelatin
- 1/4 cup cold water
- 12 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 1 cup heavy cream, chilled
- 3 cups fresh blackberries, plus more for garnish
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 1 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, strained
- 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest, finely grated
1. To make the crust: Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Place the vanilla wafers in the bowl of a food processor and grind them into a fine powder. Place the ground cookies, melted butter, cinnamon, vanilla and salt in a medium-sized and mix until all the dry ingredients are moistened. Press the mixture across the bottom evenly and about 1 inch up the sides of a 9-inch springform pan, packing it down tightly with your fingers. Bake the crust for about 6-8 minutes, until crisp and golden. Let cool completely on a wire rack.
2. To make the filling: Place the cold water in the bowl of a double boiler and sprinkle the gelatin over it. Let it soften for about 5 minutes. In the clean bowl of the food processor, place the cream cheese, heavy cream, blackberries, sugar, lemon juice and zest and process until the entire mixture is completely smooth. Leave the bowl in place.
3. Place about an inch of water in the bottom of a small saucepan that will fit the bowl with the softened gelatin so that it can rest on top without touching the water. Bring the water to a bare simmer and place the bowl with the gelatin on top now, whisking constantly for about 30 seconds to 1 minute, just until the gelatin melts. With the food processor running, pour the gelatin mixture through the feed tube into the blackberry mixture and process until smooth. Taste the filling and add more sugar if you think it needs it. It will depend on how sweet your blackberries are. If so, add by a spoonful or two at a time and process again.
4. Pour the filling into the cooled crust, smooth the top, cover with plastic wrap and chill for at least 6 hours or overnight. To serve: release the sides of the pan, cut slices of the cheesecake and serve with a scattering of berries on each plate.
Note: Recipe adapted from Icebox Cakes by Lauren Chattman.