Happy Saturday readers,
Hope your having a wonderful weekend full of sun & fun! Our weekend has been incredible with a double anniversary! We have the pleasure of sharing our wedding anniversary month with the most loving in-laws a girl could ask for! My parents-in-law just celebrated their 34th wedding anniversary and we couldn’t have been more happy than to spend the evening with them! Their marriage has stood the test of time through thick and thin and sickness and health and let’s just say their longevity is more than inspiring for my husband and I as we celebrate our anniversary on May 30th to end this whirlwind month with a bang! My husband and I had a blast spending precious quality time with Nana & Papa as they are most affectionately known by their three beautiful grandchildren! The best my husband and I could think to give them aside from our wonderful children for the night was this sensational cheesecake! It was the perfect sweet & tart summer dessert for lemon lovers and as such was perfect for them PLUS it was the perfect way to end this month of baking!
I’m hoping to squeeze one more grain-free baking recipe out of this month just as I squeezed every drop of lemon juice into this lemon cheesecake! LOL! We will just have to see, shall we… but don’t fear, i love dessert so it will be on repeat all summer long alongside the savory and exotic meals my blog is known for and you won’t be disappointed, my blog is only getting better! If you’ve been following my blog challenge this month, it has been all about grain-free baking which i am soooo passionate about, in fact 3/4 of all my baking is grain-free and outstandingly delicious, which by the way is not an exaggeration, just ask my hubs or bake my recipes for yourself and be hooked for life!!! Lol! This dessert is not per say, grain-free but the good news is it can be adapted by using gluten-free graham cracker cookies for the crust or even making an almond flour crust would be delicious! You could also swap out the cane sugar for coconut sugar and use clarified butter or melted coconut oil for the crust as well. To make it dairy-free and Paleo, you could use your favorite vegan cream cheese or even make cheesecake with soaked cashews which is delicious! If you can’t imagine the deliciousness that is vegan cheesecake…stay tuned because next week, i will show you just how to do it as i debut my delectable Lemon & Clove Vegan Cheesecake with Walnut Date Crust that your just gonna love but let’s get back to this PHENOMENAL, fully-loaded traditional cheesecake that is a bona-fide 100% crowd-pleaser!!!
Well it’s not exactly traditional as in thick and dense, New-York style cheesecake which i adore as well especially in the fall and winter months but this is the perfect no-bake cheesecake for spring & summer, it’s light, sweet and tart yet full of richness and depth. No fussing with the anxiety of water-baths, cracks in the filling or waiting for it to cool! It’s no bake and icebox-style which makes it even better!! Taste like a tall glass of ice-cold raspberry lemonade on a hot summer day and i love pairing lemon with ground cloves for depth of flavor but i think the topping was the real winner, i macerated finely chopped lemon peel in sugar and i promise you the lemon zinger vibes will transport you back to childhood with nostalgia ….it is just amazing!
*Let’s Highlight why i Adore & just have to have this Cheesecake:
*I combine cream cheese with fresh lemon juice & ground cloves for a match made in heaven full of subtle hints of creamy, tangy and spice notes!
*I added just a little sweetened condensed milk for a bit of richness and extra creaminess paired with the sweet cheesecake, it was not overly sweet but perfectly balanced with the lemon.
*The crust was everything, the mixture of vanilla sugar, rich butter and honey graham crackers was addictive BUT the addition of ground cloves really was heavenly!
*The raspberry & lemon came together into the epitome of sweet, tart perfection just like a tall glass of ice-cold raspberry lemonade!
*The macerated, sugared lemon peel bits was like lemon zinger candy. The sugar breaks down the bitterness and bite from the peel and just leaves it melt in your mouth sweet PLUS did you know… lemon peels are full of antioxidants, fiber and vitamins and help fight inflammation so its a sweet garnish for the win!
*This was a breeze to make, no-bake, no-cracks, no-water-bath…no worry!
*This is served super chilled just like key lime pie and taste sensational!
ENJOY!!!! LEMON & RASPBERRY PERFECTION!
SERVINGS: 8 SLICES
PREP TIME: 10 MINUTES
TOTAL TIME: 10 MINUTES + 4 HOURS CHILLING TIME
FOR THE VANILLA SUGAR & CLOVE CRUST
- 2 1/2 cups of finely crushed graham crackers (finely ground in food processor or placing in a ziplock bag then crushing with a rolling pin.)
- 6 tablespoons of unsalted butter, melted & cooled
- 1/4 cup of cane sugar
- 1 tablespoon quality pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 tablespoon of ground cloves (optional)
FOR THE LEMON & RASPBERRY CHEESECAKE
- 3 boxes of cream cheese, softened
- 1 1/3 cups cane sugar
- 1/4 cup sweetened condensed milk
- 1/2 tablespoon ground cloves
- Juice of one whole lemon, about 1/4 cup or 1 1/2 tablespoons pure lemon extract
- 1/3 cup organic raspberries + 1 teaspoon sugar, pureed
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
FOR THE VANILLA-SUGAR & CLOVE CRUST
- Pre-heat oven to 350 degree Fahrenheit.
- In a large bowl combine your finely crushed cookie crumbs with butter, sugar, vanilla & ground cloves and mix very well or create your crust in the bowl of a large food processor.
- Pour your graham cracker crumb mixture into the bottom of a pie dish and using your hands or a measuring cup firmly pack and press evenly into the pan and up the sides of the pan.
- Place in the oven and bake for about five minutes then remove to cool in the freezer while you create your cheesecake filling.
FOR THE LEMON CRUST & RASPBERRY CHEESECAKE
- In a large mixing bowl using a stand or handheld mixer, combine your 3 blocks of softened cream cheese with 1 1/2 cups sugar and use a mixer to mix on medium speed for three minutes or until completely smooth.
- Now, add your 1/4 cup of sweetened condensed milk, vanilla extract, lemon juice or extract and ground cloves and use a mixer to whip on high-speed for a couple of minutes.
- Next, in the bowl of a large food processor using a bowl with a fork, mash your fresh or thawed frozen berries coated with a little sprinkle of sugar and mix or process well until combined and pureed.
- Using a spoon gently dollop small spoonfuls of raspberry puree into your cheesecake, then using a skewer or a butter knife , gently create a marbled wave pattern midway through your cheesecake but do not disturb the crust, just midway through the cheesecake.
- Lastly, top your cheesecake with these delicious candied lemon zest bits for the full effect or if you prefer eat plain or top with whipped cream, whole raspberries and lemon zest curls.
- Cover your cheesecake in plastic wrap and freeze for one hour then transfer to the refrigerate for a minimum of three hours and allow to set and chill. Serve chilled and cold and enjoy!