Summertime and the living is easy (sorry that's the lyricist in me) but often it's actually not and who wants to spend steamy days and nights slaving in the kitchen? What we want are wonderful tasting, easy dishes that almost come together by themselves, which segues me nicely into introducing John Whaite's ingenious new cookbook, Perfect Plates in 5 Ingredients, and my Famous Friday's pick of the week. Excluding some kitchen staples, every single recipe in the book can be made with 5 ingredients and minimal effort without any sacrifice in flavor!! How's that for summer ease? There are so many terrific dishes but this almost no bake Coconut Macaroon and Lime Cheesecake caught my eye and is absolutely amazing that I just had to share it with you! If you're looking for a cool refreshing treat to serve at any summer celebrations your search is over!!
Once again, John's book proves that simple is best. Not that a long list of ingredients spells disaster or anything, but it is fair to say that most of my tried and true favorites are light on the ingredients and effort, which is probably why I turn to them again and again. Perfect Plates is filled with a huge variety of choices, spanning breakfast, lunch, dinner, dessert and more, and all of them use only 5 ingredients plus some kitchen staples which make them perfect busy schedule dishes. I've already shared his Peanut Butter Granola with you (a new and permanent fixture in my kitchen) and you can rest assured that many more of his recipes will find their way to these pages in the very near future. Now to this luscious cheesecake--
Velvety smooth with a lip puckering lime flavor and an irresistibly chewy coconut crust that resembles a giant coconut macaroon, this cheesecake just screams summer to me. It's so light and refreshing!
The 5 ingredients at play here are coconut, cream cheese, lime curd, lime zest and marshmallows. The only baking necessary is for the coconut/marshmallow crust which gets a short stint in the oven, baking up delightfully golden and chewy. Plus, since there's no flour involved, as is usual with a graham cracker cheesecake crust, this has the added benefit of being gluten-free.
The filling comes together easily in one saucepan, almost like a pudding and again, melted marshmallows are involved. Then cream cheese and lime curd, which you can either buy ready made or whip up on your own, get whisked in. The hard part comes once you pour it into the cooled coconut macaroon crust because that's when you have to wait at least 12 hours to allow the cheesecake to fully set up in the fridge!!! It takes so much willpower not to snitch a little taste!!
Unlike with some other cheesecakes I've tackled in the past, this one slices up beautifully and exceptionally nearly. And despite the fact that I'm not a huge cheesecake fan (please don't hit unsubscribe!) it's become one of my favorite new desserts and I can't wait to make it again!!
So have a great (and easy) summery weekend full of good times and of course good food too and pick up a copy of Perfect Plates. I promise you'll love it!! See you next week with more seasonal favorites!!
Perfect Plates in 5 Ingredients' Coconut Macaroon and Lime Cheesecake-Famous Fridays
Makes 10-12 servings
Prep Time: 30-40 minutes (a lot of this is hands-off), plus at least 12 hours of chilling and preferably overnight
- 12 1/2 ounces marshmallows (about 1 1/4 bags)
- 10 1/2 ounces sweetened shredded coconut
- 1 heaping cup lime curd (store bought or try this homemade version but sub in lime zest, lime juice and increase the sugar by 1/4
- 16 ounces full-fat brick cream cheese
- Zest of 1 lime
- 2 tablespoons water, divided
1. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Spray both the bottom and sides of a 9-inch springform pan with nonstick spray and set aside.
2. To make the crust: Fill a large saucepan halfway with water and set over medium heat bringing to a simmer. Place a heatproof bowl on top of the simmering water (this is a double boiler) and place half the marshmallows and 1 tablespoon of the water into the bowl. Stir until the marshmallows have melted into a thick gooey mixture. Add the coconut and stir until completely coated.
3. Grease your hands with a bit of oil and transfer the coconut mixture to the prepared pan, pressing it down evenly into the bottom and part way up the sides. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until golden brown. If it puffs up when you take it out of the oven, just push it down a bit. Let cool on a wire rack.
4. To make the filling: place the marshmallows and remaining water in a bowl over simmering water like in Step 2 and stir until melted. Remove from the heat and whisk in the lime curd and then the cream cheese. Don't beat too hard--you don't want to add air to the mixture. Pour the filling into the cooled crust, wrap well with aluminum foil and refrigerate overnight or at least 12 hours. It really needs to set. Right before you're ready to serve, sprinkle the lime zest over the top and cut into wedges. You need a good sharp knife to cut through the chewy crust, but no worries because this cuts remarkably neatly.
5. Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to one week.
Note: Recipe adapted from Perfect Plates in 5 Ingredients by John Whaite.