I love strawberries. I still had plenty of strawberries left from when I’d bought them on sale (2 pounds for $5), so yesterday, I decided to whip up a no-bake, no-sugar-added strawberry cheesecake. (The pic on the left is from another time I made both a strawberry and cherry cheesecake
My no-bake strawberry cheesecake was inspired by combining elements of my no-bake sugar-free cherry cheesecake and a recipe for Strawberry Cream Pie that I found on http://www.equal.com years ago. The cheesecake part is the same, and it’s topped with sliced fresh strawberries and a sugar-free strawberry gelatin (vegetarians, you would want to substitute with a vegetarian gelatin).
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 Strawberry 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)
- Fresh sliced strawberries to taste (I usually use about 1/2 to 3/4 of a pound — I like lots of fruit!)
- 1 package (4 serving size) no-sugar added strawberry gelatin (Vegetarians: You would want to substitute with a vegetarian gelatin)
- 1 cup water
- 2 tablespoons corn starch
- 1/2 cup Splenda granular (measures for measure like sugar) or equivalent of other artificial sweetener of choice
- In a small saucepan, mix together 1 cup water and 2 tablespoons corn starch until smooth. Heat over medium heat, stirring constantly, until it comes to a boil. Boil and stir for 1 minute, until thickened. Remove from heat. Stir in gelatin and 1/2 cup sweetener; stir until gelatin and sweetener are dissolved. Let cool for 10 minutes.
- 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 cream cheese into graham cracker crust.
- Top with sliced strawberries. Pour cooled gelatin over top, spreading evenly over the strawberries and to the edge of the pie crust.
- Chill in ‘fridge until firm — two or three hours — before serving.
- Refrigerate leftovers.