No-Bake Ricotta Cheesecake with a Shortbread Cookie Crust
I originally made this recipe to celebrate 4th of July weekend (cue the red, white and blue berries,) but this no-bake ricotta cheesecake is *truly* great for any occasion. The cheesecake filling itself is extremely creamy, and not overly sweet. I used powdered sugar to sweeten it, which is then paired with the subtle sweetness and fluffy texture from the ricotta. While the cheesecake itself is only 3 ingredients, it tastes much more complex than that and makes a beautiful canvas for any kind of crust, or any kind of topping. There’s something about the ricotta in this cheesecake that makes it taste more “cheesecake-y” than most no-bake cheesecakes I’ve tried, which are more reminiscent of cream cheese-based no-bake pudding pies.
Crusts and Toppings
Of course, today, I’m going with summer fruity vibes. It’s no secret that I absolute love butter (I mean, have you seen my brown butter sticky rolls?!?!) so a shortbread cookie crust was calling my name for this recipe. While I think it’s the best pairing with the cheesecake and berries, you can use any kind of cookie or cracker that you want. Just use the same measurements of the cookie of your choice and butter. The same thing goes with toppings — if you do a different crust, feel free to try different toppings! Oreo crust? Add Oreos on top. Biscoff crust? Top with biscoff cookies, cookie butter and whipped cream. Nutter butter crust? Top with peanut butter and chocolate candies. Wow I am feeling hungry and inspired right now…
Which pan should I use?
With no-bake pies or cakes, using the right pan is always important so that you can create a crust with a beautiful shape. I recommend using a springform pan or one of those disposable pie pans that you can find at the store. I tested this recipe a few times and used up all of my disposable pie pans, so I ended up lining a cake pan with foil and then using that foil to lift the cheesecake out. It totally worked, but you can see a few divots in my crust that aren’t *perfect,* but it still looks delicious and held its shape. The safest bet with this recipe is to use a spring form pan.
|No-Bake Ricotta Cheescake Filling|
|1 1/4cup whole milk ricotta|
|16oz. full fat cream cheese|
|3/4cup powdered sugar|
|Shortbread Cookie Crust|
|152g shortbread cookies|
|6tbsp softened unsalted butter|
Pulse the cookies in a food processor or blender until they become crumbs. The consistency should be a slightly coarse fine powder. We don't want big chunks of cookie! If you don't have a food processor or blender, feel free to throw the cookies in a bag and smash them with a hammer until a fine crumb forms.
In a mixing bowl, combine the cookie crumbs with the softened butter and use your (clean, washed) hands to massage the butter into the cookie crumbs until it's all incorporated. The consistency should feel like a buttery kinetic sand.
Pat the cookie mixture into springform or disposable pie pan. Start on the bottom and then flatten the crust out, until you get to the sides of the pan. Press the crust mixture onto the sides, evenly lining the entire pan. If you don't have aa disposable pie pan or springform pan, line a cake pan with parchment paper or foil, leaving a lot of extra foil/paper outside of the pan for an easy removal. If using foil, make sure you don't accidentally fold the foil into the crust!
Cover the crust and set it in the freezer to set while you work on your filling, or keep for a few months in the freezer.
Place the ricotta onto a mesh strainer, cheese cloth or generous amount of paper towels. Drain any excess water from the ricotta and then place the strained ricotta in a bowl.
Add cream cheese and powdered sugar to the ricotta and mix on medium high speed until fully combined. If you don't have an electric mixer, you can use a spoon to mix everything together. Just make sure the cream cheese is adequately softened and the powdered sugar is sifted with a whisk, so there are clumps.