Today's recipe is my grandmother's cheesecake recipe. Now, it's not the typical cheesecake. No cooking for 2 hours, cooling in the oven overnight. No cracks to cover up. Just simple, light, and yummy! When I said I was serving cheesecake, my friends were worried...they were full from dinner and we all know how rich classic cheesecake is. However, the lightness of this was just perfect and the lemon flavor was refreshing. In fact, Justin said that he was glad it didn't have the traditional cheesecake texture or he wouldn't have been able to eat it. As weird as it may be, I think that was a compliment! So, if you have a sweet tooth and are still recovering from Christmas foods, try this lemon cheesecake.
Crust: 1/3 lb + 2 sheets graham crackers, crushed
3/4 stick of margarine, melted
1/4 cup sugar
(I added some cinnamon)
1 8 oz. cream cheese (I use 1/3 less fat), softened
1 cup sugar
1 3oz. lemon jello (you could probably use sugar free, but I haven't tried yet)
1 cup hot water
1 tall can PET evaporated milk, chilled (I use skim)
2 Tablespoons lemon juice (I added some lemon zest as well)
For crust mix graham cracker crumbs and sugar. Add melted margarine. Reserve some crumbs for the top and press the remaining mixture into the bottom of a 13X9 pan or 3 8-inch pie pans. Chill.
For filling: Dissolve the jello in the hot water. In a large bowl, blend cream cheese and sugar well. Slowly blend in dissolved jello. Chill. In a small bowl that is very clean (even chilled), beat milk until stiff. Add lemon juice and beat again. Fold into the cream cheese mixture. Pour this into the chilled crust. Chill. Just before serving, sprinkle with reserved crumbs.