I am so in love with no bake cheesecakes. I have practically created a series of them in many flavors! They are perfect for keto. You can easily create a gluten free/paleo friendly crust. They are easy. And during the hot months, you don’t need an oven!
I have found that most home cooks in Greece prefer these refrigerator no bake cheesecakes, much like this one. My aunt Efterpi always had one available in her fridge during the summers we visited. One of her famous go to recipes!
This cheesecake features mastiha, which is indigenous to the Greek island of Chios in the Aegean. Mastiha has been cultivated in Greece for over 2500 years, since antiquity. The father of western medicine, Hippocrates used it for stomach ailments, colds and breath freshener (as it is still used by Greeks today).
During the Ottoman occupation, mastiha was actually worth its weight in gold. They were so important to the sultan, that during the horrifying Chios Massacre of 1822, those villages, the Mastichochoria, which had a fortress with no street entrance avaible, were to be left alone in order to continue to provide mastic to him and his harem. The villagers had to climb ladders to get over those walls.
Mastiha is a gum and is collected in “tears” as they are a resin from the Mastiha tree. The name comes from the Greek word, μαστιχειν or mastichein, (mastichate) meaning to gnash with teeth. You can actually chew the resin balls into a gum. The initial taste is a little bitter, but as the oils release, so does its natural sweetness. We call them the “tears of Chios”.
On the market, you can find it as resin, essential oil, liquer, and as a flavoring in a wide variety of sweet and savory dishes throughout Greece, and its eastern neighbors.
1 1/2 cups superfine almond flour
1/4 tsp powdered pure monk fruit (I use Julian Bakery)
6 tbsp butter melted
Zest of 1 lemon
Melt the butter in a small sauce pan. Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Press into a greased springform pan.
Place in freezer to set until you are ready to use
1 packet of powdered gelatin.
1/4 cup water (to dissolve gelatin)
1 package of room temperature cream cheese (8 oz.)
1/2 cup Greek yogurt
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
1 2/3 cup whipping cream (whipped)
1/4 tsp of pure monk fruit (or 1/2 cup of your preferred sweetener)
1/2 tsp mastiha resin
Zest of 1 lemon
Juice of 1 lemon
2 tbsp of mastiha liqueur
In a small sauce pan, place the water and powdered gelatin. Let sit for 1 minute, and then warm up on low for a few more minutes until the gelatin is dissolved and there are no lumps. Set aside to cool.
You will now have to crush your mastiha resin in a mortar and pestle, since it is a gum, you must crush it into a powder. The best way is to crush it along with your sweetener. Normally you would use a little bit of sugar, so go ahead and use whichever sugar free sweetener you are baking with.
In a mixing bowl, combine all other ingredients except for the whipped cream. With a hand mixer, mix everything until well blended and smooth. Add in your gelatin.
Whip your whipped cream. Then fold it into the cream cheese mixture. Finally use your hand mixer to blend it well.
Pour it over your crust and refrigerate for at least 4 hours. Overnight is even better!
1 pint of blueberries + 1/2 cup water
1 tbsp yacon syrup (or your favorite sweetener)
1/4 cup water (for gelatin)
1 package of gelatin
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1/2 tsp lemon zest.
1/4 dry lavender
Dissolve the gelatin in water as you did above for the filling.
In a second saucepan, bring your blueberries, lemon juice, 1/2 cup of water & yacon syrup to a boil and simmer to break down the berries. This will take around 15 minutes. Stir in the gelatin. Place it into a jar and keep it in the fridge overnight.
Since the topping has gelatin in it, it will be pretty solid. Pour it into a bowl and break it up with a fork. Then pour it over your cheesecake. Sprinkle it with fresh lemon zest and dry lavender.