Very Airy Vintage No-Bake Cheesecake

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Cheesecakes come in dozens of flavors and textures. Contrasting with the dense, baked cheesecakes many know, this vintage 1959 no-bake version is so light and airy, it about levitates above the plate. If you have cheesecake lovers in your holiday dining crowd, definitely try this one. You can make it two days in advance–keep it well-covered in a domed cake-keeper in the fridge until service.

Makes 12 to 16 servings

Ingredients

  • 2 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • ½ cup butter melted
  • 1 ½ Tbsp plain gelatin
  • ½ cup cold water
  • 4 egg yolks, slightly beaten
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¾ cup milk
  • 2 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese
  • 1 Tbsp. vanilla
  • 4 egg whites (pasteurized), beaten stiff
  • 1 cup heavy cream, whipped and chilled

Instructions

  1. Mix graham cracker crumbs and butter. Press in bottom and up sides of spring form pan.
  2. Bake this crust at 375 degrees for 8 minutes to set it. Cool.
  3. Soften gelatin in cold water.
  4. Whisk together egg yolks, sugar, salt and milk in a heavy pan. Cook, stirring constantly until mixture coats a spoon. To this mixture, add the gelatin (with the water you softened it in,) and stir until gelatin is dissolved. Remove from heat. Cool slightly.
  5. Beat cheese and vanilla with electric mixer (or, if you are strong and vigilant, by hand with a fork first, then whisk) until light and fluffy. Beat egg/sugar/milk/gelatin mixture into the whipped cheese mixture, gradually. Fold in the whipped egg whites and whipped cream: turn mixture into prepared crust.
  6. Chill for several hours or until firm.

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