december 7, 2021
Did you have pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving? Sweet potatoes? Are you craving cheesecake? Answer yes to any of these questions and this dessert is for you. I love easy entertaining at year’s end holiday time. These No Bake mini Sweet Potato Cheescakes are simple, yet fancy for company.
The No Bake Cheesecake Back Story
While growing up I never enjoyed cheesecake unless you count the classic Cherry Cheese Pie with cream cheese and condensed milk. My sister made this for special occasions and we thought the canned cherry pie filling was festive. She also made it with blueberry topping. I have fiddled with bottled key lime juice and added chocolate. The recipe calls for reconstituted lemon juice; today we’ll use the real thing. However, the basic bones of this dessert are like the original. Combine cream cheese, condensed milk, fresh lemon juice and add mashed sweet potato. All work is accomplished by either your stick blender or food processor. Warming pumpkin pie spices add holiday cheer.
Fill six or more ramekins or make one large bowl for serving at the table. Homemade whipped cream and candied pecans top each serving. I have become a fan of making whipped cream with my immersion blender—less mess and less fuss. Use your favorite candied pecan recipe or use lightly toasted nuts.
Crustless pie fans will remember Sweet Potato Custard with the hint of white pepper and flavored homemade whipped cream. With that recipe, and this one, there is the epiphany that crust is not a necessity for dessert nirvana. Artificial lemon flavor in most sweet potato pies turned me away from creamy sweet potato desserts. And so fresh squeezed lemon juice brightens these mini cheesecakes, while complementing the tang of cream cheese.
If you want a shortcut, use canned mashed sweet potatoes, or substitute canned pumpkin. With this in mind, remember that you simply cannot go wrong with improvisation. Just like that original cream cheese pie recipe.
No Bake Sweet Potato Cheesecake
recipe by Michele Humlan, The Good Eats Company
makes six or more servings
approximately 1 ½ pounds sweet potato, peeled and cut in uniform chunks*
one 8 ounce brick cream cheese, softened at room temperature
½ cup fresh lemon juice
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
pinch of ground cloves
one 14 ounce can sweetened condensed milk
optional garnishes: homemade whipped cream, candied or toasted pecans
* you will need two level cups mashed sweet potato; for a shortcut, use canned sweet potato or substitute canned pumpkin
- Cover sweet potatoes with cold water and a large pinch of kosher salt in heavy two quart saucepan, bring to boil, then simmer over low heat until potatoes are easily pierced with knife.
- Drain sweet potatoes, mash with potato masher, measure out two level cups and cool to room temperature; if there is extra sweet potato, use for another recipe.
- Use either immersion hand (stick) blender or food processor to combine cheesecake ingredients : add sweet potato to mixing bowl with spices and lemon juice and process until smooth.
- Add cream cheese in several additions and process until smooth.
- Pour in condensed milk and process, using spatula to scrape sides of bowl if necessary, until all is smooth.
- Spoon mixture into six or more ramekins, or one large serving bowl, and chill lightly covered until firm and set, at least 4 hours.
- At serving time, garnish if desired with whipped cream and your favorite candied pecans or toasted nuts.
- Recipe may be made ahead one week and kept chilled in the refrigerator.