Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Frozen Strawberry Cheesecake

I am a recent Nigella Lawson fan. I'm sure I would've known about her much earlier if I were a Brit but alas, as I am a patriot, I only found out about her when I was flipping through the television one day. Apparently, the Cooking Channel started airing her show quite a while ago, but I only found it earlier this year.

Nigella is lovely and cool and I absolutely envy the way she speaks about food. Maybe my anglophilia makes me biased but she just has this beautiful vocabulary when it comes to describing her dishes. She doesn't overdo it with cliched and flowery adjectives but instead, gives a concise punchline that leaves me feeling like I know exactly how her dishes will taste.

Today, I'm sharing a frozen cheesecake inspired by Nigella. I recently watched an episode where she made a no-churn coffee ice cream using sweetened condensed milk. Seeing as we had a can in the pantry, I thought I'd give it a go. Unfortunately (or perhaps fortunately, considering the end product was quite delicious), the carton of cream was almost empty. Then, an unused block of cream cheese caught my eye and I thought I'd try my hand at a frozen cheesecake. The results: a perfect summer dessert that my sister and I gobbled up over the course of a sweltering week in July.
Ingredients [yields 8" cake]:
8 graham crackers, crushed (1.5 to 2 cups)
3 tablespoons butter, melted
8 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ cup heavy cream
½ teaspoon salt
14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk
½ pint strawberries
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice

Start by making a graham cracker crust. Pulverize some graham crackers (either in a food processor or by hand with a rolling pin and a zip-top bag). Stir in some melted butter and then press the crumbs into a pie pan. Bake the crust at 350F for 10 minutes and then cool.
I thought about this later on, but because the pie is being frozen, I don't think it was really necessary to bake the crust. The next time I make this, I'm going to try that. The other alternative is to just buy a premade crust. EASY.
To make the filling, grab a softened block of cream cheese and some lemon zest and give it a good whipping. Whipping the cream cheese alone will help incorporate some air and lighten it, which will help make the filling smoother. Mixing a chunky cream cheese with a bunch of liquids won't yield the most elegant custard.
Once the cream cheese is lightened, add in the cream, vanilla, and salt and give it another good whipping. Incorporating the liquids slowly is also a key in making sure the filling is nice and smooth.
Then, pour in some condensed milk and whip that in until smooth.
The strawberry swirl is an optional component but I think it's awesome and not worth skipping. The berries add freshness and a summery quality. Plus, it lightens up the heavy, creamy, cheesy filling.
Add berries, sugar, and lemon juice to a blender. I used frozen strawberries (from our strawberry picking adventure).
Pour the cream cheese filling into the crust.
Spoon big dollops of strawberry puree on top and then swirl it around with a spatula. There's really no wrong way to swirl the berries and no matter what, you'll end up with a lovely pink marbled look.
The last step is to pop the cake into the freezer for 6 to 8 hours or until it's completely set and frozen.
The difference between the photo above and the photo below is that the one below is rock solid and frozen through.
Slice a piece with a warm knife and serve to the hungry, sweating hoards that need cooling off. It tastes just like cheesecake ice cream and the texture is velvety and awesome. I have a hard time understanding how this is even possible because this is such a low-maintenance dessert but I figure there's no use questioning it and I should just eat up.

By the way, I think the filling would make amazing popsicles and I think that's next on my list.
Here's the recipe page:

2 comments:

  1. Well this is something I never even thought to do with a cheesecake. Definitely going to make this one! ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Seriously, it's SO easy but SO delicious. Definitely give it a go!

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