I am so over you, Baked Cheesecake.
Do you remember ward parties growing up, and every get together in college, somebody would bring that Jell-O No Bake Cheesecake that tasted, well, like death? Especially when somebody had the brain wave to put a can of hypo-sugar cherries on top of it?
I was actually in college before I tried this horrible stuff. A roommate made it, and I ate it (it was SUGAR, after all), but the whole time I was wearing the you've-got-to-be-kidding me face. You see, the no-bake cheesecake recipe I grew up on is the one that used to be on the back of every can of Eagle brand sweetened condensed milk. Four ingredients. Ease itself. And a family of six who fought like gladiators for the last two pieces in the pie dish.
In fact, I was in college before I even realized there was a thing called "baked cheesecake." I thought cheesecake was my mother's divine simplicity or the Jell-O monstrosity.
Discovering baked cheesecake was like wandering in the wilderness for forty years and finally glimpsing the promised land. For years I have dabbled in different recipes, and I often get it at restaurants on those rare dessert-dates. I sometimes daydream about a springform pan, half a dozen eggs and enough cream cheese to satisfy even my lusts. I have imagined myself pulling the PERFECT cheesecake from the oven, waiting patiently for complete cooling, and serving it to awed guests from far and wide.
Am I crazy?
Perhaps. But that is neither here nor there.
But today. Valentine's Day. I have created the perfect . . . no . . . no. . . you didn't misunderstand. The PERFECT dessert. You never break up unless you trade up.
STM's No Bake Cheesecake
1 graham cracker crust (I did homemade this time; I think it would be divine to use one of those pecan nut-crusts also)
2 bars cream cheese, softened
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 large lemon
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 tsp vanilla
Beat your cream cheese with a mixer until it is fluffy and smooth. Slowly pour the sc milk into the cream cheese, continually beating. When it is smooth, add a teaspoon of lemon zest and then 2 Tbsp of fresh squeezed lemon juice. When the mixture is smooth and blended, pour in the cream, beating for another minute or two until everything is slightly fluffy. Add the vanilla and keep beating until everything is smooth. Spoon it into the crust, making sure to leave behind plenty in the bowl for liberal licking. And I mean VERY liberal.
Chill for at least five hours before serving.
Thank me later.
In other news . . . .
1- My 200-miler is now looking more like a half-marathon in July. We ended up a few short of being able to get a team together. I was rather relieved, truthfully. I started strong and then got sick for three weeks. The last week's exercise has felt a bit like starting over.
2- Our YW New Beginnings program was last Wednesday and it turned out completely cool. I wrote a really sweet little play for our girls to perform and it turned out nearly perfect. E-mail me is you do Young Women stuff in your own ward and want a copy of it.
3- I have braces. Hating that. There will not be pictures.
4- Our Relief Society teacher on Sunday quoted Hugh Nibley. Liberally. I LOVE her.
5- Wicked tickets arrived in the mail this week. Wa-hoo.
The cheesecake was the "frosting" on an amazing dinner (if I do say so myself). If you want more recipes, just let me know. I'm more than happy to share THE BEST CHICKEN EVER. Really.