Maria is a really beloved friend who I met through another friend around 7 years ago. She is a teacher and she lives in Thessaloniki. Above all she is a Capricorn (as I am) and really gets me… I believe in the stars and the zodiac. I believe in the predictions based on the star signs and I always read the monthly and weekly version!
But seriously, Maria is that kind of friend that, at first, you meet them and think that no way are they going to be close to you (please Maria, don’t read that!). You think they are too….different than you… But then, they go ahead and behave as the true real self they are, the true authentic personality they have and show appreciation to who you are and so you start thinking differently…Do you know what I mean?
Then, all of a sudden she becomes your friend, and you want her company, her advice, you like listening to her stories (and they are loooong !) you admire her point of view and you respect her way of life. And you realise she is respectful, thoughtful, caring, powerful, confident, silly , funny, brave, crazy, honest,generous, warm-hearted and above all a great cook!!!! Isn’t she perfect? She is.. and she was a beautiful bride in the summer, too! Wiping tears off and moving on…
Well, at a birthday celebration of hers, out in a lovely tavern she had spotted (she always spots the best places for food) with live music of a guitar and a warm voice, after a luscious meal they served us cheesecake. Not the tavern’s. Maria’s. I mean, come on! Who bothers or dares to bring homemade dessert out to the restaurant? Only she could do it to make sure her friends would be pleased down to the last bite. Maria is such an organised person, too, that she knew people would ask for the recipe and she had made copies to hand out!!! How Capricorn of hers!!! I have tasted various cheesecakes from that year but none has ever reached the perfect, balanced flavor of this creamy , airy and light cheesecake, with lemon hues. IT IS MAGICAL! And super easy to make! So here it is…
WHAT YOU NEED ( for a 30 x 30 cm pan – 12 x 12 inch):
If you wish to make it in mini cheesecakes, as I did, cut the ingredients in half and use a muffin tin and muffin paper cups so that you can remove them from the muffin tin easily.
- 2 packets of digestive cookies (I prefer MacVita)
- 220 gr butter, room temperature
- 1 packet of lemon jello (dissolved in a glass of warm water)
- 400 gr cream cheese
- 3 tablespoons confectioner’s sugar
- 1 1/2 glass milk of choice (I use almond milk and it turns out lighter)
- 2 packets of cream whip powder
- a jar of jam of choice (preferable wild berries or sour cherry)
- Make the base by blending the cookies in a blender to create cookie dirt. Add the butter and knead. Spread in your pan making sure the surface is smooth.
- Maria doesn’t know this, but sometimes, I put it in the oven for 5′ at 200 C (390 f) to bring a mor intense flavor to the cookies. But you can skip this and put it in the fridge to let it sit.
- In a mixer, mix the cream cheese with the sugar until it’s consistent and a bit runny. Pour it in another bowl and set aside.
- In the previous mixing bowl add the milk and the whip cream powder, scrape down any residue of the walls and mix until it becomes thick and fluffy.
- Add the cheese mixture and mix a little more.
- Keep mixing at low speed and add the dissolved jello gradually.
- Spread this mixture over the cookie base and cover with aluminum foil to store int he fridge.
- Before it’s time to serve (not earlier because it will drip and not stand properly) stir the jam with a spoon to help it become smooth and serve it over the cheesecake.
- Store in fridge.
Best cheesecake ever!!!! Fast, light, not too sugary and so so tasty! Make it and you will see I’m telling the truth!
Thank you Maria! We love you and we always think of you up there in far away Thessaloniki! Good luck with eeeeeeeverything that you do!!!