A really easy no-bake cheesecake! This is my grandma's recipe - my mom made it last year for Christmas and everyone loved it! You can use any sort of fruit you like on top - the traditional version uses canned cherry pie filling, but I used fresh strawberries to create my own topping.
The first photo is the pie without the glaze... it is much prettier that way, but doesn't taste quite as good. :D
Step 1: What You'll Need:
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 1/4 cups crushed graham crackers
- 6 tbsp melted butter
- one envelope Dream Whip
- 1/2 tsp vanilla
- 1 1/4 cups powdered sugar
- 1/2 cup milk (I used soy milk because it's what I had on hand, and the filling came out softer than normal)
- 8 oz cream cheese, softened
- 12 oz fresh strawberries or 3 cups
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup water
- 2 tbsp cornstarch
Step 2: Make the Crust!
It will need to chill while we assemble the other parts.
To get 1 1/4 cups crushed graham crackers, I used 15 squares. Take a big square of parchment paper and fold it in half. Put the crackers inside and go over the whole thing with a rolling pin until they're nice and crushed. Keep it folded and tip the crumbs into your measuring cup. I did this in three batches.
Once they're crushed, combine them with 6 tbsp butter and 1/2 cup sugar.
Press this into a pie plate - it'll seem crumbly, but I promise it firms up really well in the fridge as long as you press it firmly into the pie plate. You'll want to let it stay in the fridge for at least 45 minutes.
Step 3: Make the Topping!
This step is optional, of course, and cherry pie filling tastes just as good here. :D
Trim and wash 2 cup of strawberries. Place them whole in a pan with 1/2 cup water and 1/3 cup sugar over medium heat. Use a potato masher to break them up into smaller pieces - this will take a few minutes, and it'll get easier as the mixture gets warmer.
Once they start breaking up and the mixture gets more runny, combine your cornstarch with enough hot water out of the tap to dissolve it, and pour it in. Bring it back to a boil, stirring frequently until the mixture becomes the consistency of a jam or jelly.
Now turn off the heat and let this cool while you prepare the filling.
Step 4: The Filling, Part One.
Combine one envelope Dream Whip with 1/2 cup milk and 1/2 tsp vanilla.
You'll beat this together on high until it forms soft peaks - the package says it'll take 4 minutes. I'd say that's about right.
(A note about Dream Whip - I had no idea what it was until now. If you need to find some, check next to the Jell-O in the grocery)
Step 5: The Filling, Part Two.
One the Dream Whip mixture has come together, put in your softened cream cheese and 1 1/4 cups powdered sugar.
Mix this all together until it's really smooth - it'll take just a few more minutes. :)
Step 6: Fill the Pie!
Pour the filling into your fresh-from-the-fridge pie shell.
Smooth it out carefully with a spatula.
Step 7: Top the Pie!
Open a can of pie filling and spread it out on top of the pie...
Clean and trim another cup of strawberries, and slice these thinly. These will go on top of the pie under the glaze. Just press them into place wherever you like.
Then, pour the glaze over the top, smoothing it out with a spatula. You can be as messy or as neat as you want with this, really. It all tastes the same in the end. :D
Step 8: Chill!
Let the finished pie firm up in the fridge for at least a couple hours. If you don't, it will be a hot mess. A hot, runny mess. Still delicious though. :D