Post #655 No Cook No Fuss Cheesecake

July 4, 2019 at 10:07 AM | Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Post #655 No Cook No Fuss Cheesecake

Last week I posted a picture of a recipe from what I call a Grandma Card. A Grandma Card is a handwritten recipe, usually on a notecard, gleaned from a magazine or a church social, then tucked into a cookbook or a recipe box. Back in “olden days”, these recipe boxes and cookbook binders were the way recipes were stored and shared. I wish I still had some of the recipes my mom had taken from her mom. Not for the recipes, cuz those reside in my head, but for the sense of history and continuity they provide. And sometimes, just for the humor of it.

This recipe is for a no-bake cheesecake dessert. It’s from the kitchen of . . . well you can read the recipe in the pic. I love that there’s a notation Very Good in the upper left corner. [SIDE NOTE:  IT DID TASTE GOOD!]  I know that it must be fairly old because the handwriting is like a work of art. My mother had handwriting like that. It comes from hours spent in school learning to write script, and learning to write it perfectly. They don’t do that now; it’s all about the keyboard. On the keyboard, I can type almost as fast as I can think the words. My handwriting sucks big time. Sometimes I can’t even read it.

I made a boo-boo at work last week and caused some minor extra work for some folks. It was only about fifteen minutes of extra work, but these people were trying to go home early and I didn’t help matters. They were all good sports about it, and no one got angry or anything. But to make up for it, I promised to bring in something delicious and sweet on Monday. I decided to make this cheesecake since it makes a lot.

The recipe is simple. I’ve updated it to today’s standards.

  • 3oz box of lemon jello
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 2 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • ½ cup (one stick) melted butter
  • 8oz cream cheese, full fat, room temp
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 13oz can of evaporated milk, chilled several hours or overnight

Dissolve the jello in a small bowl with the boiling water. Make certain all of the gelatin is dissolved. Set in fridge to cool. Mix the graham cracker crumbs with the melted butter thoroughly then line the bottom of a 9×13 rectangular pan with it. Use the bottom of a ¼ cup measuring cup to press the crumbs evenly. Save a few of the crumbs, about three tablespoons, to decorate the top of the cheesecake. Beat the cream cheese and sugar together until well mixed and sugar is dissolved. Set aside. In a large bowl, whip the chilled evaporated milk until doubled in volume. Fold in the cream cheese being careful to lose as little volume as possible and making certain that all the cream cheese lumps are smoothed out. Add the jello and fold it into the mixture until combined. Pour into prepared 9×13 pan and smooth it out. Sprinkle the top with the reserved graham cracker crumbs. Chill for at least four hours, or overnight. The mixture should be firm. Serve chilled.

So, easy peasy, right? But there were things I did differently when I made it, and things I’d do differently next time.

First of all, my grocery store only sells large boxes of jello so I ended up using 6oz instead of three in the same amount of water. All that really means is there will be twice the amount of gelatin and more lemon flavor. Since I like lemon, I didn’t see this as a problem.

Second, I beat the cream cheese and sugar together in the large bowl, and added everything to that. It made more sense to me since that was the stiffer mixture.

Third, I didn’t fold anything. Perhaps I should have, but instead, I used a large balloon whisk and pulled the mixture up from the bottom. When I felt it was warranted, I also whisked the mixture a little bit to smooth out the lumps. I also added the whipped evaporated milk in two batches. The first half slackened the whole mixture so the second half was easier to incorporate.

Next time, I will add a quarter cup of sugar to the graham cracker crumbs, and increase the butter to a full cup. This will give it a richer and sweeter flavor. In today’s iteration, the crumbs were a little dry and dusty. Also, I’m going to try a different flavor of jello, cuz why not?

Finally, have you ever whipped evaporated milk? I never have before. I was quite impressed with it. It must be chilled so it holds the air longer. I whipped it for several minutes but it never got past the soft peak stage. That was okay for this recipe, and for any recipe where you want an extremely light and soft dessert. But the experience of whipping that milk was funny. I kept expecting to see it turn into whipped cream but it didn’t. Not bad though.

So what’s the use of a 9×13 pan of whipped cheesecake? In my case, it pleased a whole lot of people at once and I got a lot of compliments. And I’m a show off.  But I can also see this at a holiday gathering, or a potluck, or a backyard barbecue. I can also see this being subdivided into smaller containers and being frozen. There a ton of things that can be done with it. While I was typing this, I thought about a parfait type of dessert with the same ingredients and topped with whipped cream and graham cracker dust.  Also, I can envision using different crusts for different flavors of filling.  Ginger snaps instead of graham crackers; chocolate wafers, crushed Oreo cookies, vanilla wafers, even crushed crackers if you want a salty kick.  Another thing I’ve thought about since Partner/Spouse suggested it is using pudding instead of jello.  This will take some experimentation since pudding doesn’t contain the gelatin necessary to set the dessert.  But by this time, we’re so far away from cheesecake as to not even call it that so maybe not.

Anyway, have a great day.  Feel free to share this post far and wide.  Send me any questions or comments.  I love hearing from you all.

As always,

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