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Cheesecake is one of our favorite summer desserts. It’s cool, creamy, and the perfect way to showcase all manner of toppings, including our favorite seasonal fruits. But if we’re being honest, the last thing we want to do when it’s hot both outside and inside is slow-bake a cheesecake in a humidity-inducing water bath that blasts our faces with steam when we go to take it out of the oven. The perfect alternative? Martha Stewart‘s easy no-bake cheesecake, that requires no baking (not even for the crust!) but still has a luxuriously creamy texture and tangy-sweet filling. Better yet, Stewart keeps her recipe plain and simple, so you can add all of the toppings you personally love.
Stewart’s no-bake cheesecake recipe starts with a press-in graham cracker crust that sets in the freezer rather than the oven. Then comes the filling. It gets whipped up using an electric mixer or stand mixer, and is made with softened cream cheese, sweetened condensed milk (the secret ingredient!), lemon juice, and vanilla.
Pour that mixture into the crust, and chill until set. It’s really that easy!
Stewart herself has some suggestions for how to make this cheesecake a standout. She recommends making cheesecake parfaits using the filling and graham crackers or cookies; and making a chocolate version, with a chocolate wafer cookie crust and mini chocolate chips added to the filling. We also love the idea of using something like Biscoff cookie crumbs to make the crust a little more interesting.
But our preferred way to serve this cheesecake is with our favorite fruits. From a roasted strawberry-rhubarb compote, to juicy peach slices macerated with sugar and vanilla bean paste, or even just abundant handfuls of ripe, fresh summer berries, this no-bake cheesecake is a total blank canvas. You can even keep things simple and top it with jarred preserves or fruit-flavored syrups, if that’s your style.
Try Martha Stewart’s simple no-bake cheesecake once, and we have a feeling it will become a summer staple.
In search of more summer recipes? Giada De Laurentiis has plenty:
Watch: How to Make Watermelon Mango Salsa
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