Step 1: What you'll need
Make sure you have the following ingredients in the pantry:
- 8 ounces cream cheese
- 2 cups whole milk
- 1 4-serving package instant pudding mix
- 1 8-inch crumb crust or the ingredients to make one
With these items on hand, you can have a cheesecake in ready to serve in less than an hour.
Step 2: The star ingredient
Cream cheese is the main ingredient in this cheesecake. Full-fat varieties produce better results than their low- or no-fat counterparts.
Use cream cheese at room temperature to make it easier to blend with the other ingredients. You can leave the cream cheese out on the counter for 30 minutes, but the microwave works just as well and is really fast. Just unwrap the cream cheese and place it on a microwave-safe saucer or dish. Microwave it for 20 to 30 seconds — just until it's soft. Drop it in the bowl of your electric mixer.
Step 3: The supporting cast
Blend 1/2 cup of milk with the cream cheese so it's easier to blend in the other ingredients.
Add the pudding mix and the rest of the milk. Beat on low speed for one minute, or beat by hand just until well blended. Quickly pour it into the crust; it sets fast.
Step 4: Just chill
Wrap the cheesecake tightly in plastic wrap and put it in the refrigerator for at least an hour or up to two days. When you are ready to serve the dessert, let it stand at room temperature for about 15 minutes. Fruit pie filling as a topping adds a gourmet touch. Cut into eight pieces and serve.
Step 4: Variety, the spice of life
This recipe works with any flavor of instant pudding mix. Use different types of crumb crusts and toppings to make it just right. Try one of the following flavor combinations or make up your own:
- Lemon pudding mix with a lemon curd topping
- Chocolate pudding mix with chocolate fudge topping
- Vanilla pudding mix with cherry pie filling
- White chocolate pudding mix with blueberry pie filling
You also can make individual tart-sized cheesecakes with small crumb crusts in the same way. Just divide the filling evenly among six tart shells.
Step 5: Expect to be popular
Once it gets around that you make a killer cheesecake, you can expect to be invited to every party on the schedule and asked to bring it to every family get-together for the next 20 years.
For more household tips, check out:
Super Moms guide to cleaning & cooking for the family