A no bake cheesecake is exactly what it sounds like - a cheesecake that isn’t baked. The crust and the filling firm up in the fridge without needing anything else to help hold it together. The ingredients used in the cheesecake do the work of firming things up all by themselves! It’s perfect when you need something quick and easy, or don’t have an oven available (or don’t want to use one).
For the crust
- 1 1/4 cups gluten free graham cracker crumbs
- 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
For the filling
- ¼ cup freshly-squeezed lemon juice
- 1 2/3 teaspoons unflavored powdered gelatin
- 2 8-ounce packages (16 ounces total) cream cheese, at room temperature (light-style cream cheese works fine, too)
- 1 cup sour cream, at room temperature
- 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 to 1½ cups (115 g to 175 g) confectioners’ sugar
- Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
Line the wells of a standard 12-cup muffin tin. In a medium-size bowl, place the graham cracker crumbs and butter, and mix until all of the crumbs are moistened. Divide the mixture evenly among the wells of the muffin tin, and press the crust evenly and firmly into the bottom of each liner. Moistened fingers work well, and so does the moistened bottom of a juice glass. Set the pan aside.
In a small, heat-safe bowl, place the lemon juice and sprinkle the gelatin on top in an even layer. Allow the mixture to sit for a few minutes until the gelatin swells. Heat the mixture over low heat or in the microwave (or a small saucepan over low heat) for about 20 seconds or until the gelatin is dissolved and the mixture has liquefied. Allow it to cool until no longer hot to the touch.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or a large bowl with a hand mixer, place the cream cheese, sour cream, and salt and beat until light and fluffy. Toss all but about 1/4 teaspoon of the lemon zest in 1 cup of the confectioners’ sugar, breaking up any lumps in the zest, and then add the sugar to the cream cheese mixture. Beat until well-combined.
Taste the mixture, and add more confectioners’ sugar to taste. Then, while continuing to beat slowly, add the dissolved gelatin mixture in a slow drizzle and continue to beat until the mixture begins to thicken (about 5 minutes).
Pour the filling on top of the crust in each of the wells of the muffin tin, dividing it evenly among them. Sprinkle the reserved lemon zest lightly and evenly on top of each of the fillings.
Place the muffin tin in the freezer for about 2 hours or until very firm.
Remove the mini cheesecakes from the muffin tin and store in a freezer-safe zip-top bag. Allow to sit at room temperature for about 10 minutes before serving, chilled.