I am all about a pie that tastes like cheesecake without any of the work of a springform pan, water bath, or varying oven temperatures. This creamy, luscious lemon cheesecake pie is light, bright, and rich. And it’s as easy as, well, pie.
I could eat cheesecake any day of the year, but I am loving the tart lemon flavor of this easy pie during this seemingly endless winter. It was St. Patrick’s Day yesterday, and I swear I remember being in college on St. Patrick’s Day soaking up the March sun in shorts. I can’t complain too much, because the sun is shining and it’s above freezing, but it seems like winter is hanging on particularly hard this year. I mean, the geese are back in the pond behind our house, I’ve got day-lilies coming up in the yard, so it seems like the snow should all be melted, gosh darn it. But I digress. Maybe it’s already Spring where you are (if it is, don’t tell me), but I promise that this pie will brighten up your tastebuds no matter the weather.
This recipe comes from my grandmother’s Anniversary Slovak-American Cookbook. You can find the whole series of Slovak Sunday bakes here. I’ve had this one earmarked for a while, because it combines two of my favorite things: cheesecake and a no-bake crust. I’ve bungled enough cheesecakes (thanks, leaky springform pan!) to know a no-fail recipe when I see it, and if you want a cheesecake without a lot of the traditional work, this recipe is for you. It starts with a simple graham cracker crust, which gets filled with a lemony cheesecake mix that is super easy to put together. If, like me, you love cheesecake almost as much as your dog, and you have some lemons on hand, this recipe is a must-try.
- 12 graham crackers
- ⅓ cup sugar
- ⅓ cup melted butter
- 9 ounces of cream cheese, at room temperature
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- ½ cup sugar
- 1 egg
- 2 tablespoons flour
- ⅔ cup milk (whole or 2% is best)
- ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons grated lemon rind
- Preheat the oven to 350°F and butter a pie pan.
- Pulse the graham crackers in a food processor until they are fine crumbs. If you don’t have a food processor, you can put them in a plastic bag and leave a small opening in the top, then use a rolling pin to smash them.
- Combine 1 cup of the graham cracker crumbs, the sugar, and the butter in a bowl, mixing well with a fork. Press this mixture into a buttered pie pan. Reserve ¼ cup of the graham cracker crumbs for later.
- In a large bowl with a hand mixer on medium-high speed, cream together the cream cheese and butter until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add the sugar and egg and mix to combine. With the mixer on medium-low speed, add the flour, followed by the milk, lemon juice, and rind. Mix to combine.
- Pour the filling into the prepared crust and smooth the top. Sprinkle the remaining ¼ cup of graham cracker crumbs over the top.
- Bake the pie for 35 minutes, then let it come to room temperature and chill it in the refrigerator until ready to serve.