After experimenting with a baked cheesecake which we all really loved – so much so that it became my son’s birthday cake in the summer – more recently, with less time on my hands, I have come back to an old favorite uncooked lime and mascarpone cheesecake as a quicker alternative. It is based on a recipe I found on a supermarket recipe card in the UK years ago, which I have since adapted a little to suit our tastes. It’s incredibly easy to make and so delicious. Plus, apart from the richness of the mascarpone, it’s all pretty good for you.
One of the main adaptations I have made recently is to change the base to a simple gluten-free mixture of dates and pecans. It’s quick and easy to make, tasty and much better for you than a typical crumb base. True, it’s not got that crunch but it’s a small loss and one I am more than happy to trade. If you aren’t convinced then go for a crumb base, the topping is still the main seller of this cheesecake.
The topping is incredibly easy – simple grate the zest and juice a couple of limes and add both to the mascapone, along with a little honey, and mix well. The amount of honey here makes it just sweet rather than as sweet as many cheesecakes so adjust to taste. It will be a bit runnier than you might think is ‘normal’ for a cheesecake that is not being baked but don’t worry, it will firm up when you chill it before serving. How long you chill it is a bit up to you – an hour or more is certainly needed but it can easily be make the day ahead of when you need it saving you from doing any work on the day (which can be very handy, if you’ve got a group coming over!).
Overall it’s an easy, delicious, relatively guilt-free cheesecake that is great both to serve to guests or just because. The topping is deliciously smooth, rich and creamy with a lovely lime tang but that’s not overpowering. I originally made it for my husband’s birthday as I knew he liked it from years ago, but we happily ate the rest over the next couple days, my toddler son included. And given the ingredients, it’s a treat I suspect we will happily enjoy another time soon.
No-cook lime and mascapone cheesecake (GF)
- 1 cup/105g pecan nuts
- 2/3 cup packed/ 145g medjool dates
- 2 x8oz tubs/450g of mascarpone
- juice and zest of approx 2 limes - 1/4 cup lime juice and 1 1/2tbsp zest or a little more to taste
- 1 1/2 tbsp honey or a little more to taste
Put the pecan nuts in a food processor and pulse until you have a breadcrumb-like consistency. Remove the pecans and then add the dates and blend until smooth. Add back the pecan crumbs and pulse until well mixed.
Tip the pecan-date mixture into the bottom of a cake tin with a removable base and spread the mixture flat.
Mix together the mascarpone, lime juice and zest and honey until well combined. Taste the mixture and add a little more honey or lime to taste.
Tip the mascarpone mixture over the base and spread out carefully and evenly. Use a spatula or side of a knife to smooth out the surface.
Chill the cheesecake for ideally an hour or more (can be made the day before needed) before taking out of the tin and serving.