[Recipe courtesy of Woman's Day; photo by Jacqueline Hopkins]
No Bake Strawberry Cheesecake
For the Crust
6 whole lowfat honey graham crackers (2‑squares each), crushed to fine crumbs
2 Tbsp butter, melted, and mixed with 1 Tbsp honey
For the Filling
1 box (3 oz) strawberry-kiwi flavor gelatin
2⁄3 cup boiling water
1 tub (16 oz) 1% fat cottage cheese
2 bricks (8 oz each) fat-free cream cheese, softened
2 Tbsp sugar
2 tsp strawberry extract or 1 tsp vanilla extract
For the Topping
1 pint (about 12 oz) fresh strawberries
2 Tbsp strawberry jelly, melted
Garnish: small mint leaves
Coat an 8 x 3-in. spring-form pan with nonstick spray.
For the Crust: Mix crumbs with butter mixture until evenly moistened. Press firmly over bottom and 3⁄4 in. up side of prepared pan. Place in freezer.
For the Filling: Dissolve gelatin in boiling water in a 1-cup measure. Purée cottage cheese in food processor until creamy. Add gelatin, cream cheese, sugar and strawberry extract; process until smooth. Pour into prepared crust; smooth top. Cover and refrigerate 4 hours, or until set.
Note: you can do this a day in advance and keep to save on prep time.
For the Topping: Wash and dry berries; remove stems. Quarter each lengthwise and place in a bowl; add jelly and gently toss to coat. Remove sides of springform pan; place cheesecake on serving plate. Spoon on the berry mixture and sprinkle with mint leaves, right before ready to serve.
Planning Tip: The Cheesecake can be made, without the strawberry topping, up to 3 days ahead. Refrigerate covered. Prepare Topping just before serving.
Versatile Flavor Suggestions:
1. Use Blueberries instead of strawberries for a lovely Blueberry Cheesecake
2. Try using 3 different kind of berries together – strawberries, boysenberries and raspberries would pair well for a lovely flavor
3. You can even try non-fruity flavors, like Vanilla, Pistachio, Chocolate or Coffee for a delightful taste twist!
4. Some non-berry fruits like Bananas, Orange or Mango for a creamy texture. Pair these with chopped nuts like walnuts, almonds, pecans or pistachios for a crunchy topping.