I wasn’t going to share this on the blog, but so many things went wrong that I figured you would like to read about it.
“How did you get it to solidify?”
2 8-oz blocks of solid cream cheese, not the spreadable kind (neufchatel will work too)
just under 1/2 cup of lemon juice
1 can sweetened condensed milk
For the berry topping:
2/3 c strawberries (frozen is ok)
1/2 c raspberries (frozen is ok here too)
pinch of salt
1 1/2 tbsp white wine
3-4 tbsp sugar
Put the cream cheese in the bowl of your stand mixer. If you don’t have one, a hand mixer or even a food processor will work. Just don’t try to mix this by hand.
Mess #1 no lemons. Luckily, in the freezer I found some lemon juice cubes (i.e. leftover lemon juice frozen into ice cube trays for future use). Convenient little one-ounce blocks waiting for me. So I put four cubes into a mug to defrost in the microwave, and when I took them out, it became apparent that not all of those yellow cubes were lemon juice.
Yep. That is a mixture of egg whites and lemon juice.
So I tried again with the remaining four cubes – maybe there had only been one egg white in the bag? Besides, the rest all looked pretty yellow.
Wrong. This one had an egg white too. Lemony egg white delight.
I ended up using lemon juice concentrate from the fridge, which actually turned out just fine.
Back to the recipe. Dump just under 1/2 cup of whatever lemon juice you choose into the cream cheese bowl along with the can of sweetened condensed milk.
Mess #2 do not drizzle in the milk while the mixer is running. It will not help create a smooth, homogenous mixture. It will launch sticky crap at your face and neck.
Let the mixer run until it’s smooth as butter.
Mess #3 I forgot to make a crust. Dammit. Make sure you bought a store-bought graham cracker crust (like this one), or you can make your own with graham crackers or any other kind of crunchy cookie that you like:
Crust ingredients (for 2 pie crusts)
2 1/4 cups graham cracker or cookie crumbs
1/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup melted butter
Mix all that stuff together in a bowl and then press it into the bottom of two 8″ or 9″ round pie pans. Put it in the freezer to chill for 15 minutes because you are in a hurry.
Once the crusts are chilled, pour half of the cream cheese mixture into each (you might want to rewhip a few seconds if the cheese has started to set). Smooth it out and put the cheesecakes in the fridge.
While the cheesecakes are chilling and setting, make the berry topping. Put the strawberries, raspberries, and salt in a saucepan over medium heat.
Mess #4 do not start the berries on medium-high in a hot pan because they will burn and you will have charred bits stuck to the bottom of the pan. Luckily, those black bits were so charred that even constant stirring didn’t dislodge them from the pan…so, onward! With no lasting damage.
Once the berries start bubbling, add in the sugar and white wine. Let it cook for about 7 more minutes until it’s thick and syrupy. Take it off the heat and let it come to room temperature before you top the cheesecakes.
Let the cheesecakes set in the fridge for at least 6 hours before you eat them, but longer would be better.
Verdict: not crappy. Delicous. It all worked out in the end.