No Bake Jam Swirled Cheesecake
Europe is enduring a major heatwave right now. It has been in the upper 90s to 100 the last few days and is supposed to continue through Monday. If you know anything about living in Europe, you'll know that air conditioning is pretty nonexistant. I have all the shades closed and it's still 80 degrees inside. It's like living in a stuffy cave; at least we're on the ground floor. Yesterday, I cooked bacon on the grill just to avoid turning on the oven. Trying to whip cream today in this heat was nearly pointless...
It's difficult to be an expat on the 4th of July knowing you won't be with friends and family barbequeing, pitching horse shoes, drinking beer, and watching fireworks. We will be attending a small gathering in our village, but it's not the same. I will make traditional potato salad and baked beans. I bought hot dogs for the grill (in this country you bring your own meat to a gathering), but my local store was out of hot dog buns! It's too damn hot to walk to the other store, so I bought mini sandwich buns. I'm going to have to cut the hot dogs in half. It will work, but really?! It's enough to make me cry.
For dessert, I made this no bake cheesecake and swirled in some strawberry jam before popping it into the refrigerator. This cheesecake can be made for any occassion, of course, and I chose strawberry jam because it's red. Use whatever flavor you like, or leave it out altogether. Or throw in some fresh fruit...
See those cute little red, white, and blue stars and sprinkles? Yeah, they don't come like that here. I had to sit in my steamy dining room, with a four year old, and pick out those colors from a mixture that included yellow and green. I'm pretty sure this is an activity put on in Hell. At least we had some good music cranked! I lightly set a star cookie cutter in the center and spread out some sprinkles inside of it before gently removing the cookie cutter. It's not perfect, but I'm pretty pleased with the end result :)
Wherever you may be around the world, I wish all my fellow Americans a happy and safe 4th of July! Take some time to reflect on what it means to be an American and remember all the freedoms afforded to us. I, for one, am proud to be from that great nation. Enjoy!
No Bake Jam Swirled Cheesecake
- 1 1/2 cups (375 mL) graham cracker crumbs (I use petit beurre cookies)
- 3 Tablespoons (45 mL) milk
- 16 ounces (450 g) cream cheese, softened
- 1/2 cup (63 g) powdered sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 12 ounces (360 mL) heavy cream, divided
- desired flavor of jam
- colored sprinkles
Lightly spray an 8-inch springform pan with cooking spray, or lightly grease it with cooking oil. Set aside.
Pulse the graham cracker crumbs in a food processor until fine. Add the milk and process until the mixture is moist and will hold together. Place the crumbs in the bottom of the prepared springform pan, patting them down so the bottom is evenly covered.
In a large mixing bowl, beat 1 cup (250 mL) of heavy cream to stiff peaks. In a separate large bowl, beat the cream cheese until smooth, then add the vanilla and powdered sugar, beating until well combined. Fold in the whipped cream, gently, until there are no streaks.
Pour the filling over the crust and smooth it out with a rubber spatula. Add dollops of jam over the filling and swirl them through with a knife. Place the cheesecake in the refrigerator and allow it to chill for at least 4 hours.
Whip the remaining cream (1/2 C, 125 mL) and spread a thin layer over the chilled cheesecake. The cream can also be piped on. Decorate the top as you desire with sprinkles. Store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to one day.