Thursday, May 22, 2008

No-Bake Mini CheeseCake - Orange & Pistachio

no-bake mini cheesecakeThese "semi-homemade" No-Bake Mini Cheesecakes are a perfect recipe for an extremely simple and fuss-free dessert! They are so cute and adorable, and can serve to be perfect individual desserts for dinners or cocktail parties. The best part about cheesecakes is their versatility; blend some chocolate & liquer with cream cheese for an "adult dessert", or combine fresh seasonal fruits and berries for an all-time favorite recipe. As we move to warmer weather forecasts, I decicded to try a citrus flavor for my easy instant cheesecake. Oranges and Pistachios dominate this delicious sweet treat, coming beautifully together for a smooth creamy center with an invigorating burst of orange flavor!

It so happens that Helen selected a Citrus theme for this month's SHF#43, and I had these lovely tangerines waiting to be juiced and put to good use! Plus, it's my birthday this weekend, the stunning summer dress that was gifted to me by a special someone fits me perfectly, and so I'm all excited and in a mood to indulge!! And when I get excited, I need to eat something sweet (yeah, people have their addictions!:)) I had some ready-made mini tart-shells and a packet of cream cheese in the fridge, which sparkled the idea for these glorious cheesecakes. They are simple to make and wonderful to eat. Let your imagination run wild and experiment with whatever flavor you like. For now, here's the refreshing Orange & Pistachio Mini CheeseCake, to soothe your sweet-tooth cravings!

Ingredients
Makes 4 to 6 mini cheesecakes, depending on size

4-6 ready-made graham-cracker pie shells
1 packet(4 oz) Philadelphia cream cheese
4 tbsp cool whip (or use heavy cream, whipped a lot)
1 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp gelatin
4 tbsp water
6 tbsp orange juice (adjust according to taste)
1 tsp grated orange zest
chopped unsalted pistachios - for garnish

Method
Warm the 4 tbsp water till its almost boiling, then sprinkle the gelating and stir well. Set it aside and allow to bloom for 3-4 mins.

Meanwhile, whip the cream cheese, cool whip, orange juice and sugar in the blender. Whip it all together to form a smooth topping, or whip with a hand-mixer till smooth and creamy. Check for taste; adjust orange flavor and sugar to suit your taste.

Now add the bloomed gelatin to the cream mixture and again mix everything together.

Fill the pie-shells with the cream-cheese mixture and gently tap around to spread evenly.

Allow to refrigerate and chill for at least 1 hour so the gelatin sets the mixture. Insert a toothpick to see if it comes out clean, else leave in the refrigerator for some more time. I'd generally recommend at least 2-3 hours before serving.

When its time to serve, Garnish with some freshly-grated orange zest and finely chopped green unsalted pistachios.

We loved these fresh and flavorful mini-cheesecakes! It's such a simple and easy alternative to the traditional recipe, perfect for entertaining guests or whipping up a dessert on very short notice!

Similar Recipes:
Kahlua Cofee Cheesecake
Low-Fat Strawberry-Vanilla Cake
Marbled Cream-Cheese Brownies

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