As the seasons change, so do our cravings. During the summer, we're all about light and refreshing dishes that minimize our time in the kitchen and make the most of the bountiful summer produce.
But as the temperatures drop, our taste buds yearn for something more indulgent and decadent. And if it can be whipped up with minimal cooking, that's just icing on the cake. Enter Martha Stewart, the coastal-chic queen herself, with a to-die-for recipe for a no-bake cheesecake that's about to elevate your dessert game.
Effortless Elegance in Seven Ingredients
Martha's no-bake cheesecake is a dessert dream come true. With just 25 minutes of prep time and seven ingredients, most likely already nestled in your pantry, this dessert is a breeze to create.
The most labor-intensive task is crushing a bag of graham crackers. If you have young helpers, this is the perfect opportunity to put them to work. There's a brief encounter with the stove to melt a smidge of butter, but aside from that, the real magic happens in your trusty mixer and the refrigerator.
The result? A velvety, mouthwatering filling composed of sweetened condensed milk and cream cheese, with hints of lemon juice and a touch of vanilla extract that adds a subtle depth of flavor.
Customization Is Key
What makes this cheesecake truly special is its versatility. If you have fresh fruit, consider adding a generous layer of strawberries or perhaps a few slices of ripe mango to adorn the top. Whether you prefer a minimalist approach or a full-fledged fruit extravaganza, this cheesecake is your canvas. So dust off that springform pan and embark on a delightful "baking" adventure.
The Ingredients You'll Need:
- 2 packages (20 sheets) graham crackers
- 11 tablespoons (1 3/8 sticks) unsalted butter, melted
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 2 8-ounce packages of cream cheese at room temperature
- 1 14-ounce can (1 1/4 cups) sweetened condensed milk
- 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
A Delectable Journey in a Few Simple Steps
- Begin by placing the graham crackers in a large resealable plastic bag and crushing them into fine crumbs using a rolling pin.
- Transfer the crumbs to a medium bowl and stir in the sugar. Next, add the melted butter and combine until everything is well mixed.
- Press the crumb mixture into a 9-inch springform pan, spreading it about 1 1/2 to 2 inches up the sides and pressing it flat. Let the crust chill in the freezer for at least 10 minutes.
- While the crust is chilling, it's time to prepare the creamy filling. Using an electric mixer set at medium-high speed, beat the cream cheese in a large bowl until it's smooth and velvety. Gradually add the sweetened condensed milk, ensuring you scrape the sides of the bowl as needed. Beat in the lemon juice and the vanilla extract.
- Pour the luscious filling into the prepared crust, smoothing the top with a rubber spatula. Cover the cheesecake with plastic wrap and let it rest in the refrigerator until it fills up, typically taking 2 1/2 to 3 hours.
- Once it's set, unclasp the sides of the springform pan and carefully remove the cheesecake, revealing your masterpiece.