In the heat of summer, I am always looking for fun low (or no) cook ways to make and enjoy a little dessert. Give me all of your icebox cakes, no bake bars, and no bake cheesecakes! No bake cheesecake has all of the rich cream cheese flavor of its baked counterpart, but it is a bit lighter in texture and so easy to make. There are no water baths to fuss with and no worry about the top splitting on you.
This no bake cheese cake is a great base for all sorts of summer fruit, but it would also be delicious with caramel or chocolate drizzled over the top instead. This version uses a heap of gorgeous fresh blueberries.
The salty pretzel and nutty browned butter crust comes together quickly too, no baking required. It also ensures that the whole dessert is nice and balanced, and not too sweet. For a sweeter version feel free to substitute graham cracker or biscoff cookie crumbs for the preztels. You could even skip browning the butter in favor of just melting it, but the browned butter adds a ton of great flavor so I wouldn’t!
The topping is a combination of fresh and cooked blueberries, the cooked ones make it a little saucy and help the blueberries stick together instead of sliding all over the place. I topped the whole thing with a few small leaves from my basil plant that look little little blueberry leaves. Mint would work too but the herbs are totally optional.
No Bake Blueberry Cheesecake
Salty pretzels make a perfect base for this not to sweet cheesecake, but you could use graham crackers or biscoff cookie crumbs for a sweeter version – use gluten free cookies to make this desert for your gluten avoiding friends and family. The blueberry topping is partially cooked which creates some sauciness that helps the blueberries stick together, but if that’s a bridge too far for lazy summer cooking, you can just pile the top with lots of fresh blueberries. They may roll of when you slice it though!
175g/ 1 1/2 cups finely ground pretzels
50g/ 1/4 cup granulated sugar
170g/12 tablespoons unsalted butter
450g/ 1 pound cream cheese, at room temperature
100g/ 1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tablespoon vanilla paste or extract
240ml/ 1 cup heavy cream, cold
490g/ 3 1/2 cups blueberries
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon cornstarch
Mint or basil leaves if desired
To make the crust: Combine the pretzels and sugar in a large bowl. Melt the butter in a small saucepan set over medium heat. Cook the butter while scraping the bottom and sides of the pan occasionally with a rubber spatula. The butter will foam, then the solids will turn deep golden brown and smell nutty.
Once the butter has browned pour it over the pretzels in the bowl then stir to combine. Let the mixture cool for a minute or two then pour it into a 9-inch pie pan.
Carefully press it evenly on the bottom and up the sides of the pan, a 1/3 cup measure is a great tool for this. Set the pan in the freezer while you prepare the filling.
To make the filling: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment mix the cream cheese and sugar on low speed until combined. Turn the mixer up to medium and beat until smooth and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl occasionally to ensure even mixing.
Add the vanilla and lemon and stir to combine.
Switch to the whisk attachment and with the mixer on low, add the heavy cream. Turn the mixer up to medium high and whip until the mixture comes to stiff peaks, about 3 minutes.
Spoon the filling into the chilled crust and smooth the top. Refrigerate for about 8 hours or overnight.
To make the topping: When you are ready to serve the cheesecake put 280g/2 cups of the blueberries in a large bowl and set aside. Combine 140g/1 cup of the blueberries, 2 tablespoons of water, and 1 tablespoon sugar in a saucepan over medium heat. Cover the pan and cook until the blueberries have burst and released their juices, about 2 minutes.
In a small bowl stir the cornstarch with 1 tablespoon of water, slowly pour it into the blueberry mixture in the pan while stirring constantly. Bring the mixture to a simmer, stirring constantly for 45 seconds, until thick and glossy.
Pour the mixture over the blueberries in the bowl and stir to combine. Pour the blueberries over the chilled cheesecake and scatter the remaining 70g/ 1/2 cup blueberries over the top. Sprinkle mint or basil over the top and let the pie sit for a few minutes before slicing. Store leftovers in the fridge for a few days.