Monday, June 25, 2012

Makeover Monday: Very Cherry No-Bake Cheesecake

Yesterday I mentioned how hot it has been.  Today I learned that there is no relief in sight.  We are looking at record high temperatures all week.  You know it's going to be a scorching week when the coolest day is 101 degrees.  Yikes!  For those of you in the same hot boat, you know that now is just not the season for baking.  But if you have a serious sweet tooth like me, dessert is still in order.  And if you are going to be rocking a bikini this summer, you know that light desserts are a must!

With all this in mind, I recently came up with an awesome no-bake cheesecake.  This is super easy to make, doesn't require an oven or even stovetop, and is low in fat and sugar.  Oh, and it's delicious and perfectly refreshing on a hot, hot, hot summer day!

Unlike its baked cousin which is dense and rich, this no-bake cheesecake is light, creamy and airy.  I wouldn't complain about eating either variety, but this time of year the no-bake cheesecake really hits the spot.  Are you wondering yet why I called this "very cherry no-bake cheesecake?"  This cheesecake gets its very cherry-ness, and part of its lightness, from the inclusion of fat free cherry vanilla yogurt. 

I came up with the idea while eating a container of fat free cherry vanilla yogurt and wondered how it would work out in a cheesecake.  I have made no-bake cheesecake before, and I know I have a recipe somewhere, but wouldn't you know I couldn't find it.  Instead of searching high and low for it, I decided to just wing it. 

The essence of this recipe is that I used non fat yogurt, which has 70 calories in 6 ounces, for some of the reduced fat cream cheese, which still has 70 calories in just 1 ounce.  Other calorie savers in this recipe include Splenda, lite whipped topping, and no-sugar-added cherry pie filling.
And as I said, this was so easy to make.  This is the kind of dessert that you can whip up over your lunch hour to let it set and be ready for dinner.  All it takes to make this cheesecake is to whip up cream cheese, Splenda, and cornstarch.  Then fold in some yogurt and whipped topping.  Spread the mixture over a graham cracker pie crust and top with cherry pie filling.  That's it!  It seriously takes about 10 minutes.  Take the 10 minutes!

Now dig in!  And rejoice in the fact that this sinfully delicious dessert is easy on your electric bill, and your waistline.  Who says you can't have it all?

Very Cherry No-Bake Cheesecake
4 oz reduced fat or fat free cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup Splenda
1 Tbsp cornstarch
2 (6 oz) container fat free cherry vanilla yogurt
8 oz lite whipped topping
1 ready-to-eat graham cracker pie crust
1 jar no-sugar-added cherry pie filling
In the bowl of a stand mixer or with an electric mixer, beat together cream cheese, Splenda, and cornstarch until smooth.  Fold in yogurt and whipped topping until combined. 
Spread mixture into unbaked pie crust.  Refrigerate 4 hours, or until set.  Top with cherry pie filling.