Ice Cream Cheesecake

ICcheesecake2

Consider this my pre-summer-vacation gift to you! If a New York cheesecake were to marry a bin of vanilla ice cream, this would be their sweet and irresistible lovechild. This revolutionary summer dessert requires only about 15 minutes of active work, and the freezer does the rest. The condensed milk in the filling keeps the cake from freezing solid, so result is a soft, creamy and cool dessert that requires minimum effort and produces maximum results every time. So if you’re off to a beachside vacation over the next weeks, don’t forget to pack your springform pan and this recipe… You can thank me later.

Ice Cream Cheesecake

Recipe loosely adapted from Smitten Kitchen

Crust

  • 3 cups (300 grams) finely ground graham cracker crumbs
  • 3 tablespoons (40 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 10 tablespoons (150 grams) unsalted butter, melted

Cheesecake filling

  • 12 oz (350 g) cream cheese, at room room temperature
  • 16 oz (450 g) sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, or the seeds from one vanilla bean

Topping

  • 1 cup (232 g) whipping cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons granulated sugar, divided
  • 1/2 lb (225 g) fresh strawberries, hulled and sliced
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest

Make crust: Heat oven to 350°F / 180°C. Combine graham cracker crumbs, sugar and salt in a medium bowl and stir until mixed. Add melted butter and stir until crumbs are evenly coated. Press crumbs into the bottom and a 3/4ths the way up the sides of a 9-inch springform cake pan with your fingertips. Bake crust until lightly browned, about 9 to 10 minutes. Set on cooling rack to cool completely. Once cool, you can even transfer it to the freezer to get it started on the chilling process.

Make cheesecake filling: Beat cream cheese until soft and fluffy, then slowly beat in condensed milk until smooth. Beat in zest and vanilla. [This step updated to ensure everyone avoids lumps.] Pour into cooled crust and freeze for 6 to 8 hours, until firm.

For the topping: Whip cream with 1 teaspoon sugar until soft peaks form. Spread the whipped cream over the frozen filling and return to the freezer until firm, about 30 minutes. Meanwhile, toss the strawberries with the lemon zest and the remaining 1 teaspoon of sugar in a medium bowl; set aside.

To serve: Remove the cheesecake from the freezer and decorate with the strawberry mixture. Using a hot, wet knife, cut cake into wedges and serve immediately.