THIS CHEESECAKE YOU GUYS. AHHH. You have to try it, it’s completely and utterly addicting. My husband and I ate a slice the night that I made it, and then that next morning we were both standing at the kitchen counter with forks just eating it right out of the pan. It’s THAT good. And it’s so easy, you can make it one or two days before you want to serve it and it will only get better. The lemon in here is so fragrant and tart, and paired with the sweetness of the jam it just take this to whole new level. It’s a perfect make-ahead for Valentine’s Day, a birthday or any celebration where you don’t want to spend the whole day in the kitchen! Unlike me, who could easily and happily spend the rest of my life in my kitchen toiling around with recipes. I realize I’m weird like that, but I toil with recipes so you don’t have to! 🤓😛
A few words of advice for this recipe- make sure all your cheesecake ingredients are at room temperature. I mean this especially concerning your cream cheese because once you add in the melted white chocolate a too-cold cream cheese will harden it a little bit and create little specks of white chocolate. I know this because…well, it happened to me when I was making it (you can see it below). Which honestly didn’t bother me at all, I quite liked the little bits of white chocolate-but if you’d prefer a smoother batter then I’d wait for it the cream cheese to soften fully!
I also like to use Lingonberry jam in this recipe, but I realize that most people don’t know what a Lingonberry is. Lingonberries are small berries that resemble cranberries but are very tart, and they’re most commonly found in the Nordic countries, although wild variations have been cultivated in Canada, Alaska, even in Michigan (although it’s considered endangered there). Think you’re out of luck? If you check your local bigger-market grocery stores you’re VERY likely to see Swedish Lingonberry jam in the aisle with all the jellies, etc. I’ve seen it in the U.S. everywhere from smaller discount-grocers to major carriers like Whole Foods and Heinens. That being said, you can absolutely substitute out any fruit jam that you love, just remember it has to pair well with the lemon in the batter. So strawberry would be delicious, as would raspberry, blueberry, or any kind of citrus curd! Lemon curd would be great in here too, make it allllll lemon allllll day. YUM.
The world is your jelly aisle, my friends.
In the case of the crust, I naturally couldn’t leave well enough alone and I added in almond flour to my traditional graham cracker crust recipe. It just adds another level of nuttiness to the crust and makes it stand apart from every other graham cracker crust out there. Almond meal is essentially just pulverized almonds and you can use it in anything from this crust, to batters, to French macarons! If you opt to leave it out, just reduce the butter called for in this recipe by 2 tbsp and you’ll be just fine.
Lemon Berry No-Bake Cheesecake
14.4 oz. (One box) Honey graham crackers
10 tbsp butter
1 tsp vanilla bean paste*
¼ C. Almond meal
½ tsp kosher salt
3 tbsp white chocolate chips
16 oz (2 boxes) cream cheese, softened
1 tsp vanilla bean paste*
½ C. White granulated sugar
The zest from 1 whole lemon
¼ C. Fresh lemon juice (approx 1 large lemon’s worth)
1 C. Confectioners sugar
3 Tbsp fruit jam (**I used Lingonberry, a delicious Swedish fruit, but use whatever you like!)
3 Tbsp heavy cream
* If you can’t find Vanilla Bean Paste, you can substitute out 2 tsp of vanilla extract.
** Lingonberry Jam is available at most supermarkets in the jam aisle; however, if you’d prefer you can use the same amount of another jam like strawberry! Just remember it should pair well with the strong lemon flavor this cheesecake will have!
For the crust:
Spray a 9-inch round springform pan with non-stick spray, and preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a small bowl, melt the butter with the vanilla paste for 20 seconds in the microwave.
In a food processor, pulse the graham crackers until they form crumbs, then pour into a large bowl, adding the melted butter/vanilla, salt and almond meal/flour. Stir until the mixture resembles wet sand.
Pour into your springform pan and press on the bottom and up sides uniformly. Place on a cookie sheet and bake for 8 minutes. Then remove from the oven and allow to cool.
For the cheesecake:
In a small microwaveable bowl, melt the white chocolate in the microwave at 50% power in 15 second intervals, stirring between each round until the chocolate is fully melted. Set aside.
In the bowl of a kitchen aid mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese, melted white chocolate and vanilla bean paste for several minutes until it has lightened in texture.
With the mixer on low, slowly pour in the lemon juice, lemon zest, confectioners sugar, and fruit jam. Let mix for several minutes until fully combined.
Add in the heavy cream and then mix at medium/high speed for about 1 minute to fluff the final cheesecake batter up!
Pour the cheesecake batter into the cooled crust and smooth it out evenly with a spatula. To get the extra crust around the edges, take a butter knife or offset spatula and gently push some of the crust from the edges of the pan around the cheesecake.
Freeze for 3-4 hours, or overnight. To serve, let thaw for 15 minutes at room temperature before slicing, add optional garnish of lemon slices just to make it look fancy! (I added small dabs of the fruit jam in the centers of each slice for presentation, but that’s just me- it’s not necessary at all!)