By chef Jordan Dennis
In PEI, agriculture is a huge part of our communities, and in early summer nothing gets us Islanders quite as excited as the first harvest of fresh, PEI strawberries.
For me, this excitement started at a very young age when I would visit my grandparents in western PEI. Regardless of what we had as a main course, I always made sure to leave room for my grandmother’s dessert…strawberry shortcake.
It was no surprise that, a few years later, the first job I ever had was picking strawberries at a farm just east of Charlottetown. The work wasn’t easy and the days started early, but the ability to pop a juicy, ripe strawberry in my mouth as I worked was a delicious reminder that it was all very much worth it.
As a chef now, every year when I see folks taking home fresh PEI strawberries to make jams, jellies, or that beloved strawberry shortcake, I’m reminded of those early mornings spent bent over in search of that beautifully red, perfectly ripe strawberry that may just be hiding underneath a few leaves.
This extremely simple, very delicious, and gluten-free friendly cheesecake recipe is perfect for serving at a family gathering or entertaining at home with friends.
No Bake Strawberry Lemon Cheesecake (Gluten Free)
Makes 8-10 servings
1 bag “WOW Lemon Burst” cookies (GF)
2 tbsp butter, melted
2 cups fresh strawberries, sliced
2 cups cream cheese, room temperature
¼ cup brown sugar
2 tsp fresh mint, minced
1 tsp vanilla
½ tsp cinnamon
In a food processor, blitz the Lemon Burst cookies with 2 tbsp of melted butter. Once this has combined and looks crumbly, evenly spread this mixture on the bottom of a parchment lined 9" springform pan. You can use a small offset spatula to evenly press down the crust mixture around the bottom of the pan.
Next, using either a blender or food processor, combine remaining ingredients until smooth and evenly mixed.
Slowly pour the strawberry filling over the cookie crust. Use a rubber spatula to make sure it is even and nicely level all the way around. Feel free to garnish with a sprinkle of lemon zest before chilling. Let this chill for 2 hours in the fridge, and you have a delicious and easy no-bake cheesecake. The only challenge will be to not dive in before it is ready!
Caption: Chef Jordan Dennis, Sobeys West Royalty, PEI
Photo Credit: Bigstock/dolphy