So we were going back and forth on what to make for this collaboration with Ryan and Adam of Husbands That Cook. These two were preparing ‘Strawberry Waffles with Balsamic-Roasted Strawberries’, so we knew we had to do something good. We asked ourselves, do we make grilled salmon with a strawberry chutney (our first and pretty much only other good idea before the final one), do we make strawberry gelatin with fresh strawberries and whipped cream (we decided this one was a bit uninspired), or do we just eat the strawberries on the deck with a cold beer and not get around to collaborating? After a reasonable amount of standing on first one foot and then the other, and walking in circles aimlessly, we decided to knock it off and just make a grilled strawberry and goat cheese no-bake cheesecake. Why? Well simply because it’s spring and who doesn’t just love a deliciously awesome cheesecake? Aren't we right? Of course we are!
So no-bake cheesecakes are kind of the best of both worlds. (There’s the obvious - lack of baking and then the other OBVIOUS cheesecake part - two incredible winners, there.) So then, first things first, we decided to grill the strawberries. By grilling the berries first, it added a sweet and slightly smoky depth of flavor (which, low key, made them taste incredible!). Then we made a fresh berry compote out of the grilled strawberries by adding freshly squeezed orange juice, cinnamon, honey, and balsamic vinegar for a tart edginess. Swirled into the cheesecake batter, the sweet and tart married beautifully together, each one playing off of the other.
What you are presented with is a wonderfully light, airy, cheesecake with just the right amount of denseness and sweetness. The grilled strawberries add the right touch of spring freshness, which is so welcome this time of year after a long Midwestern winter. This cheesecake would be a wonderful addition to any dinner party or cookout. A light accompaniment sure to please! And who doesn’t like that?
Ps. Thank you so much to Ryan and Adam for collaborating with us! We had so much fun putting this recipe together. Be sure to go and follow them on all social channels if you haven't already! You won't regret it :)
- Nathaniel & Momma Crawford
Grilled Strawberry & Goat Cheese No-Bake Cheesecake
Cheesecake recipe adapted from Martha Stewart
Berry compote recipe adapted from Minimalist Baker
For the compote - Yield 1 cup
1 pint fresh strawberries, halved and grilled*
Juice of one orange
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon honey or maple syrup
Slurry - 1 tablespoon water + 1 tablespoon cornstarch
For the cheesecake
2 packages (20 sheets) graham crackers
2 tablespoons brown sugar
⅓ cup rolled oats
Pinch of ground cinnamon
11 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2 8-oz packages cream cheese, room temperature
5-oz goat cheese, room temperature
1 14-oz can sweetened condensed milk
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
⅔ of the strawberry compote mixture (save the other ⅓ for topping)
*For the grilled strawberries. Heat a gas or charcoal grill. Using tongs, take a paper towel dabbed in a little olive oil and gently brush it over the grates of the grill. Halve the strawberries and grill over direct heat for 2-3 minutes, turning slightly halfway through for grill marks. Remove berries from the grill onto a plate to cool.
Once cool to the touch, cut the berries into slices and place in a medium saucepan along with orange juice, ground cinnamon, balsamic vinegar, and honey. Cook over medium-low heat for 10-12 minutes, stirring occasionally. With one minute left, stir in the cornstarch-water slurry and allow to cook for a minute for the mixture to thicken. Remove pan from the heat and allow mixture to cool completely.
For the crumb crust. Lightly oil a 9-inch springform pan and set aside. In a food processor, add in the graham crackers, oats, brown sugar and cinnamon and pulse until a coarse crumb forms. Slowly add in the melted butter and pulse until the mixture comes together and resembles coarse sand. Transfer crumb mixture into the springform pan, spreading it 1 ½ to 2 inches up the side and pressing flat. Place pan in the freezer for crust to set, for 10 minutes.
For the cheesecake. In a large mixing bowl with a hand mixer or in a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese and goat cheese until smooth. Gradually add in the sweetened condense milk a little at a time and mix until incorporated. Add in the lemon juice and vanilla and beat until combined.
Fold in 3/4 of the chilled strawberry compote into the batter, leaving the remaining 1/4 to top cheesecake with later. Transfer the filling to the chilled crust mold, spreading evenly with an offset spatula. Cover and store in the refrigerator for 3 to 3 ½ hours or until set. Top with the remaining compote and serve immediately. Or cover and keep in the fridge for up to 3 days.
**Note - this cheesecake batter won’t be as firm as a traditional cheesecake, so don’t be alarmed if the cheesecake feels a bit soft once taken out of the fridge. If need be, we stored ours for a bit in the freezer to help it firm up faster.
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