Rich, creamy, chilled pies are some of my favorite desserts to make. I'm a sucker for cream cheese fillings in any form, but the fact that icebox-style cheesecakes are delicious and super convenient to make definitely keeps them near and dear to my heart. Most icebox pie recipes require just a handful of ingredients and a few quick steps. Now, who doesn't love those qualities in a recipe on any day of the week?
I've got a few good, no-bake, pumpkin pie recipes in my collection that I like to make during the fall months and a white chocolate-peppermint icebox pie that I keep special for December. But, this easy cheesecake recipe is the one icebox-style pie I make all year long. Seriously, the basic recipe stays the same, but I just tinker around with the flavorings and garnishes to suit whatever my fancy is that day. Today it had to be a lemon cheesecake with berries, especially blueberries! I love blueberries and it just so happened that my go-to grocery store had them on sale, so I had alot of them.
Many icebox pie recipes require little or absolutely no cooking at all. My version of this easy cheesecake requires just little baking because, in general, I prefer to bake homemade cookie crusts. I think they hold together better after applying a little heat. My favorite cookies to use for a cookie crust are gingersnaps. But, if you don't want to bake at all, you can make this recipe a "no-bake" pie by just leaving out the flour in the crust recipe. Follow the directions and just press the flourless, gingersnap crust in the pan and don't bake! Or, using a store-bought graham cracker crust would be an quick substitute for a homemade gingersnap crust.
This recipe also requires just a teensy bit of cooking because I make a homemade blueberry syrup to drizzle on the cheesecake. When it comes to homemade syrup, I always make a really large batch. I make a bunch because it keeps for a while and I like to have extra syrup around to use on pancakes or biscuits on another day. This recipe will make almost two cups of blueberry syrup. However, if you want to make less, I recently wrote a post with instructions on how to make simple syrup that will tell you just how to do that!
For the crust:
- 1 3/4 cup gingersnap cookies, crushed ( I used Stouffer's brand)
- 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- 3-4 tablespoons melted butter
1. Pre-heat oven to 350°. Mix the first three ingredients together. Add in the the butter, one tablespoon at a time, until the crumb mixture is just moistened.
2. Press crumb mixture into a well-greased 9-inch pie plate. Bake for 10 minutes. Allow to cool completely on rack.
For the blueberry syrup:
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup fresh blueberries, rinsed and dried
1. Stir all ingredients together in a small sauce pan and bring to a simmer. Allow to simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat, set aside and allow to cool completely.
For the cheesecake:
- 2 packages (8 oz) regular or low-fat cream cheese, room temperature
- 1 can (14 oz) sweetened condensed milk
- 1/2 cup lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1. Using a mixer, whip the cream cheese until smooth and creamy, about 2 minutes. Add in the condensed milk and stir until it's fully incorporated with the cream cheese.
2. Add in the lemon juice and vanilla and mix well.
3. Pour cheese mixture into the prepared crust and refrigerate uncovered for at least two hours or until the cheesecake is firm to the touch.
4. Serve with extra berries and a healthy drizzle of the blueberry syrup.