Pilar Valdes' No-bake Jelly Cheesecake
For the Crust:
- 8 oz Ginger Snaps, finely ground
- 3 oz Graham Crackers, finely ground
- 1 tbsp Granulated Sugar
- 1/8 tsp Kosher salt
- 4 tbsp Unsalted Butter, melted
For the Cheesecake Layer:
- 1/2 cup cold milk
- 4 tsp unflavored Gelatin
- 16 oz Cream Cheese, softened, at room temperature
- 8 oz sour cream
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 6 tbsp Granulated Sugar
- Zest of 1 lemon, plus 1 1/2 tablespoons freshly squeezed Lemon Juice
- 3 tbsp hot water (190 degrees)
For the Jellied Fruit Layer:
- 10 oz assorted Fruit (strawberry, kiwi, blueberries, grapes), cut in assorted ways (sliced, quartered and left whole) to create texture and height
- 1 1/2 tbsp Granulated Sugar
- 1 tbsp Lemon Juice
- 1 1/2 c plus 1/4 cup Water, divided
- 2 1/2 tsp unflavored Gelatin
Line the inner sides of a 7" x 3" cheesecake pan with parchment paper.
Combine the ginger snaps, graham crackers, sugar, salt and butter. Mix well and press into the bottom of the cake pan. Freeze for 30 minutes.
In a small bowl, add the cold milk. Sprinkle the 4 teaspoons of gelatin evenly over the surface of the milk (don’t be tempted to dump it all in at once, or the gelatin will clump and not bloom properly.) Allow to bloom for 5 minutes. Right before using, add the 3 tablespoons of hot water and mix until the gelatin is completely dissolved and smooth. (Use immediately; if the mixture begins to solidify, place in a bowl of warm water, until liquified again.)
Meanwhile, in a blender, combine the lemon juice and zest and juice, heavy cream, sour cream and cream cheese. (TIP: We recommend placing the liquid items at the bottom of the blender followed by the heavier or more solid ingredients for ease of blending and to help the motor along!) Blend until smooth.
Add bloomed gelatin mixture and continue to blend until combined, scraping down the sides as you go. (This cheesecake layer can also be mixed by hand, in a large bowl.)
Pour half of the cheesecake mixture over the crust, and add 1 layer of fruit on top. Pour the remaining cheesecake mixture on top. Refrigerate until set, about 1-1.5 hours.
Place the remaining fruit on the solidified cheesecake layer and return the cake to the refrigerator.
In a small bowl, add ¼ cup cold water. Sprinkle 2 1/2 teaspoons of gelatin evenly over the surface. Allow to bloom for 5 minutes.
In a small pot, combine 1 ½ cup water, the remaining sugar, and lemon juice. Bring to a boil, stirring, until the sugar is fully dissolved. Remove from heat and stir in the bloomed gelatin. Stir until fully combined and all the gelatin is dissolved. Allow to cool for 2 minutes. Carefully pour lemon jelly over the last fruit layer. Refrigerate until fully set, about 2 hours.
Unmold carefully and serve.