Not even once.
No-Bake Cheesecake with Blackberry Sauce (Advanced Plan) With Key Lime Variation
I can see it now as plain as I can see the kitchen I am sitting in and the laptop I am typing this on.
I guess I was around twelve years old and we called my mom's mother, "Maw". We were staying in Kentucky a whole month that summer and Maw was glad we were there. Her unfenced backyard was nothing less than a jungle to me and my favorite cousin. We spent hours helping her in her garden and tagging along as she picked and plucked and watered. With her age came a little wisdom so when she became tired and needed a little peace and quiet she disappeared inside with the promise of a surprise upon her return. We waited. She did return...and we were a little thrown when she walked out with a big bowl full of white sugar. She bent over and whispered to us as we leaned in to listen. She told us that if we walked around the house and towards the trees we would find a secret, and that we would be the only ones with the exception of her that knew about it. She then handed us the bowl of white sugar and made us promise not to tell anyone what we found there. Then she assured us that when we found it, that big bowl of sugar would come in really handy. (Yes, as an adult, the "big bowl of sugar" does make me cringe a bit. Fortunately, this blog is not about the sugar... so keep reading.) She also mentioned that when we found the surprise she was sure we wouldn't want to come back for a while, and that she was perfectly okay with that! It would be our secret.
Unknowingly set up by our own beloved Maw, we began our trek around the house. We then walked to the tree-line, which back then seemed like miles. I carried the sugar which looked even whiter in the summer sun. I stopped and squinted and could smell it a split-second before I could fully see it. There, right were she said it would be, was a beautiful blackberry bush; wild as they come and loaded with what seemed like thousands of perfect berries too big to be real.
We dipped and ate those perfect, juicy berries. We ate at least one hundred each. We ate them until both our stomachs ached and we were covered in an unmistakable purple stain that would never, ever wash out.
And then we went back. Maw met us at the door to swiftly hide the empty sugar bowl. And our parents, very much out of character, never asked where we were or why in the world we were so purple.
Not even once.
Not even once.
No-Bake Cheesecake with Blackberry Sauce-Advanced Plan (with Key Lime Variation)
Free of: Gluten, Grain, Sugar
Full of: Omega 3 Fatty Acids, Antioxidants, Vitamin C and K, Fiber, Folic Acid
1-16 oz bottle heavy whipping cream-Promised Land is best
2-8 oz pkgs organic cream cheese
1/2 cup xylitol-or to taste
1 organic vanilla bean
2 cups walnuts finely crushed
4 tablespoons raw or organic butter
1 pint organic blackberries
1 to 2 tbsp xylitol for berries(depending on sweetness of berries)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Allow both cream and cream cheese to become room temperature.
Mix whipping cream until stiff. Set aside. Mix cream cheese and xylitol until smooth. (The longer the better to break down xylitol). Cut open vanilla bean and scrape inside into bowl. Mix into cream cheese mixture. Pour cream cheese mixture into whipped cream and mix by hand well but gently. Place bowl in refrigerator and chill.
Finely crush walnuts by hand or in food processor. Melt butter in preheating oven. Place crushed walnuts in pie plate. Pour melted butter into crushed walnuts and carefully blend until mixture becomes a ball. With fingers press and mold into the pie plate. It does not have to be perfect, even small holes will be okay. Place in preheated oven and bake for 10 to 15 minutes or until butter is mostly absorbed and crust is just turning brown.
Take crust out and let cool completely. Do not put filling in even if your crust is slightly above room temperature. Once it is completely cool, pour in cheesecake mixture. Place in refrigerator to set. The cheesecake mixture will bind the crust as it sets.
Topping: Process blackberries in a food processor. Pour in a saucepan with 1 to 2 teaspoons of xylitol depending on the ripeness of the berries. Cook on low heat and allow to simmer until it slightly thickens and becomes sauce-like. If you would prefer to avoid the seeds, pour through a strainer and place sauce in refrigerator to chill.
Key Lime Cheesecake: After mixing the cream cheese mixture and the whipped cream mixture I add about 1/3 cup of key lime juice and the zest of one key lime. Again, you can use more or less depending on the tartness of your limes.