Lemon No-bake “Cheesecake” Pie with Crystalized Ginger

IMG_3569-2Further culinary adventures with my Phoenix family… my aunt was talking about this lemon cheesecake she’d had with a ginger topping and we were all like, “let’s make it!” aside from my uncle, who said he didn’t like the texture of cheesecake.  But I thought that was probably the texture of regular cheesecake, which has flour, and which I didn’t want anyway.  So we decided to try this no-bake recipe from Cookies of Biscuits.

The texture was definitely far enough from regular cheesecake that my uncle DID like it, and there was debate as to whether I should call it something else… If you’re looking for a no-bake cheesecake, I recommend cream cheese/ricotta-based (as opposed to this one, which is cream cheese/sweetened condensed milk-based).

In addition, this recipe was a classic case of “not many ingredients” = “not much flavor complexity” – the lemon “cheesecake” filling kind of reminded me of the filling for lemon merengue… I would add in cardamom or nutmeg or zest or something else better that you can probably come up with.

But all-in-all it was good, the ginger on top was great, everyone had seconds, I might eat some for breakfast…  Here’s how it went:

Make the Crust:
– They say to crush up ginger cookies and add in butter (2:1 ratio) and press into the bottom of a springform pan.  We used soft cookies so we didn’t add in any butter, and just molded them into the bottom of a pie tin (we didn’t have a springform, but this arguably worked better)

Make the Filling:
– Beat 2 things of cream cheese (16oz) with one can of sweetened condensed milk (14oz) until smooth
– Add in another can of sweetened condensed milk and 1c of fresh lemon juice (~4 lemons – not meyer lemons because the citric acid has to react with the sweetened condensed milk to thicken it) and beat until mixed
– Pour into the pie tin and put in the refrigerator for ~8 hours (or the freezer for 3-4 hours if you didn’t read that part and need it to firm up more quickly!)

“Make” the Ginger Topping
– For this we didn’t really find a recipe, although I looked, so we just got crystalized ginger and and sliced it up into little strips, then we put it in a pan with some water and let it simmer til the water was pretty much evaporated.  This softened the ginger and it was still super sweet and potent and delicious.  We also grated some lemon zest into the ginger, but I couldn’t really taste it in the end result so not sure it did anything

Once the “cheesecake” is set…
– Distribute the ginger on top
– Serve!