Simple and delicious! Simply delicious. Perfect for heat waves, or anytime really. I’ve made this at Thanksgiving and other holidays when the oven is on all day and I don’t want to have to put one more thing into it.
This can be made with different crust bases; I do think that the chocolate wafer crust under the white filling and topped with bright fruit presents a stunning visual contrast. That being said, I prefer the less-sweet graham cracker for my crust.
1 1/2 c finely crushed chocolate wafers crumbs, graham cracker crumbs, ginger snap crumbs…
4 – 6 T melted butter
1 8-oz package cream cheese, at room temperature (or more, if you want more filling)
2 T lemon juice, or other citrus juice (plus extra if using more cream cheese)
1/3 c sugar (plus extra as above)
1/4 c heavy cream, sour cream, or Greek-style yogurt (plus extra as above)
fresh fruit, chopped or not, depending on the fruit; puréed or not
1. Mix together crumbs and 4 T melted butter in a bowl. If it holds together, that is, when you take some and squeeze, it forms a mass, proceed, otherwise, add 2 more T of melted butter.
2. Transfer to a 8-inch cake pan or a 9-inch pie pan and press evenly on the bottom and up the sides of the pan. You may need to lightly wet your fingers to do this, to keep the crumbs off your fingers. When you’re satisfied with the crust, put it into the freezer while you prepare the filling.
3. Combine the cream cheese, lemon juice, and sugar in a bowl and beat with a mixer or by hand until well blended. If using heavy cream, beat this in another bowl until thickened with soft peaks, then fold into the filling. If using sour cream or yogurt, just fold in.
4. Remove crust from freezer. Spoon the filling into the center of the pan, then using a spatula, gently spread the filling out to the edge and up the sides. You can also try to pour it over the crust evenly, but I find the filling a bit too dense for that. Cover with plastic wrap and place in freezer for 30 minutes or so. Then transfer to the refrigerator and chill until firm, at least 30 minutes, and up to a day.
5. To serve, slice into wedges and top with fresh fruit, whole, chopped, and/or puréed, depending on the fruit and your preference.