I used to make an easy, tasty no-bake cherry cheesecake that my family and friends loved — 8 ounces cream cheese beaten with 1 can (14 ounce) sweetened condensed milk, 1 teaspoon vanilla, and 1/3 cup lemon juice. Pour into graham cracker crust, chill until firm, and top with a can of cherry pie filling. I could make it reduced-fat or fat-free with reduced-fat or fat-free cream cheese and fat-free sweetened condensed milk.
But, alas, I couldn’t make it sugar-free, which became an issue when I was told to avoid all concentrated sugars due to my hypoglycemia.
I didn’t need to feel deprived for too terribly long, though, for, as inspired by a recipe I saw in Diabetic Cooking magazine, as well as some other sugar-free recipes I found when Googling, I developed a quick, easy, and no-sugar-added cherry cheesecake recipe that everyone seems to love.
While you can use a prepared graham cracker crust that you pick up from the store, it’s quick and easy enough to make your own, which I prefer to do. I keep a box of graham cracker crumbs in my pantry so I can pretty much whip up a graham crust whenever we have a hankering for a graham-crust pie.
Oh, and that pie crust smells incredibly yummy as it bakes! 🙂
Graham Cracker Pie Crust (Makes one 9″ pie crust)
- 1 cup graham cracker crumbs
- 4 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted
- 3 packets of your favorite artificial sweetener (I prefer aspartame, e.g., Equal)
- Preheat oven to 350F.
- Pour one cup of graham cracker crumbs into a 9″ pie pan. With a fork, stir in 3 packets of sweetener. Stir in the melted margarine or butter until graham crumbs are moistened.
- Gently press crumbs alongside edges of pie plate to form crust edge, then press crumbs along the bottom to form the rest of the crust.
- Bake until lightly browned, 6 to 8 minutes.
- Allow to cool (I place mine on a baking rack) before filling.
No-bake Cherry Cheesecake (This makes 8 servings. Unless you’re my hubby, who says it only has two slices. 😉 )
- One 9″ graham cracker crust
- 2 packages (8 ounces each, or 16 ounces total) cream cheese, softened (I usually use 2 packages of Neufchâtel (reduced-fat) cheese, but you can use 1 package of regular and one package of fat free if you prefer.)
- 4 packets of your favorite artificial sweetener (I prefer aspartame, e.g. Equal)
- Vanilla extract to taste (about 1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon, give or take)
- Almond extract to taste (about 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon, give or take)
- Approximately 2 to 4 tablespoons skim or 1% milk (I start off with a healthy splash — couple of tablespoons — and gradually add more, a couple of teaspoons at a time, as needed)
- 1 can (21 ounces) no-sugar-added cherry pie filling
- Place cream cheese in a medium-sized bowl. Add in artificial sweetener, vanilla extract, almond extract, and a healthy splash (approximately 2 tablespoons) milk.
- Mix on medium to high speed with an electric mixer until smooth and blended together.
- Add a bit more vanilla and/or almond extracts if desired.
- Add in more milk, a wee splash (teaspoon or so) at a time, until desired consistency (I usually end up using 3 to 4 tablespoons of milk — you want to be able to transfer it from the bowl to the pie crust easily enough, but you don’t want it so thin and runny that it won’t set back up in the ‘fridge).
- Spread/pour into graham cracker crust.
- Pour no-sugar-added cherry pie filling onto the cheese filling, spreading gently to the edges of the crust.
- Chill in ‘fridge until firm — two or three hours — before serving.
- Refrigerate leftovers.