And voila! Here it is, the most-requested recipe of the summer, our unbaked, creamy cheesecake. This recipe is so versatile; we enjoyed making it with vanilla bean this summer, serving it with fresh berries, sour cherry compote, and lemon curd sauce. It would be fabulous, however, with a gingersnap crust and pumpkin pie spices folded into it; or with chocolate cookie crumbs and chocolate ganache swirled through the filling before chilling to set. Consider this recipe a base, and have fun transforming it into a new special dessert
Cream Cheese Mousse Cheesecake
1 9” springform pan
2 c cookie crumbs (can use plain or chocolate graham crackers, butter cookies, ginger snaps)
6 T melted butter
-Preheat oven to 325F. In a mixing bowl, stir together crumbs and butter, then press into the pan and place in the oven for 10 minutes to toast the crust. Remove from oven and let cool thoroughly before adding the mousse.
2 t gelatin powder
3 T cold water
2 ½ c heavy cream
1 ½ lbs soft cream cheese
½ c sugar
1 T vanilla
(optional: zest of 1 lemon or orange)
-Place the gelatin powder in a small cup or bowl with the cold water and set aside to “bloom” the gelatin (thoroughly hydrate it so it dissolves nicely).
Softly whip the cream (not stiff peaks, just lightly holding) and set aside.
Cream the cream cheese with the sugar and vanilla (and zest, if using) until soft and fluffy. You can use a mixer with a flat beater, or a spatula and your own big muscles! Fold in a bit of the whipped cream to loosen the mix, then the rest of the cream, using a spatula. Melt the gelatin and water mixture, in a microwave is easiest for about 10 seconds until clear and fluid, or you can place the dish directly down into a pan of simmering water and stir the gelatin to melt. Switch to a wire whisk to quickly and thoroughly whisk the gelatin into the cream mixture. This recipe is a good work-out: you need to whisk very hard and fast to avoid the gelatin clumping up and hardening, and to make sure that it is evenly distributed.
Spread the mixture into the pan with the crust and smooth the top (or swirl! Express yourself!). Pop into the fridge to chill thoroughly, at least 4 hours or overnight. Serve with seasonal fruit, lemon curd, drizzle with chocolate ganache…possibilities are endless!