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Friday, March 7, 2014

No Bake "Cheesecake"

This is not an actual cheesecake as it requires none of the expensive imported cream cheese, but it is such an easy, beautiful, and refreshing dessert. I used to make this a lot when my kids were babies and had gotten out of the habit of making it. Last week I made it again for the first time in years and remembered why I like it so much. This can be 100% no bake, but I personally like the baked version of the crust better than the unbaked version because it holds together better when you cut the pie. Top with whatever seasonal fruit you have. Pureed mangoes look gorgeous on top!


No Bake "Cheesecake"
1/2 to 3/4 box McVities digestive biscuits, crushed
6 Tablespoons butter, melted
1/4 cup sugar
1 to 1 1/2 liters yogurt
Juice of 1 lime
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 can sweetened condensed milk (see notes)
Fresh fruit

Overnight, drain the yogurt in a cheesecloth or dishtowel in the fridge, making sure the drained liquid does not touch the yogurt. In a bowl combine the digestive biscuit crumbs with the melted butter and sugar. It should look like damp sand. If it looks too wet, add some more biscuit crumbs. Using the bottom of a glass, press into a pie or tart pan. For the no bake version, chill the crust for 45 minutes before filling. For the baked version, place in a 190C/375F preheated oven for 6 to 9 minutes or until just golden. Cool. Place the drained yogurt in a mixing bowl with the lime juice and vanilla. Beat until smooth and creamy. If using unsweetened yogurt, whip in the sweetened condensed milk, too. Pour the yogurt filling into the pie crust. At this point, you can either chill for about 1 hour in the fridge or pop in the freezer until about 30 minutes before serving. Top with fruit, cut and serve.

Notes: Only use the condensed milk IF you start with unsweetened yogurt, otherwise the pie will be too sweet. The more watery the starting yogurt, the more you'll need to use to have enough after draining. I have made this with many different kinds of yogurt, but it is definitely worth spending a little extra to buy a liter of "special yogurt" called juju dhau. It has a greater cream ratio so it's not as watery. The final product has a really creamy texture and is not overly tangy.

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