This time of year I just seem to crave lemony flavors. I think lemon is a promise of spring with it’s bright, sunny flavor. Goodness knows we need that promise this year! These bright, lemony No Bake Lemon Cheesecake Parfaits will make you forget about all that.
I had really wanted to serve up these No Bake Lemon Cheesecake Parfaits for my Easter dessert this year, but we had lemon bars, instead. I just couldn’t get the thought of these cute little desserts out of my mind, though.
About No Bake Lemon Cheesecake Parfaits:
No Bake Lemon Cheesecake Parfaits are a lusciously soft, lemony cheesecake layered over shortbread crumbs and topped by a bright, zesty Lemon Curd. It’s like a one-two punch of lemony goodness.
The cheesecake base is super easy, but the lemon curd does need to be cooked. Because, IMHO, you can never have too much Lemon Curd, I doubled my usual Lemon Curd recipe. And I was wondering why I don’t make lemon curd more often!
I made the bottom layer of my No Bake Lemon Cheesecake Parfaits with some of the Classic Scottish Shortbread cookies I made last week. I just pulverized them in the food processor. Of course, purchased shortbread cookies will work just as well and for a more downhome version, you can’t go wrong with Graham Cracker Crumbs/ They’ll work just fine, too, and might be something you have around the house.
Making No Bake Lemon Cheesecake Parfaits:
If you’d really like to shortcut this recipe, you can use a purchased lemon curd. Honestly, as far as investment in time and effort, I think lemon curd is an item that has a big payoff. It’s just so crazy delish homemade. And it really takes little more effort than making any old fashioned cooked pudding on the stove.
Any effort put forth on the lemon curd is more than made up for by the easy cream cheese layer. As is these are a bit casual; if you want an even fancier display, try a wine glass. You can’t go wrong with that for adding a bit of panache!
Saving Money when making No Bake Lemon Cheesecake Parfaits:
In season in the winter months here, Lemons will also be at the best price then and bags will be available at a discount. That’s when you want to go wild with lemon recipes, but do watch for sales throughout the year. Weigh several lemons in your hand and pick the heaviest; it will hold the most juice. Minor imperfections in color don’t matter but don’t’ buy lemons that are drying out and browning.
To get the most from your lemon, roll it on the counter with a good bit of pressure and/or microwave for 20 to 30 seconds. You’ll always get more juice if you ream rather than squeeze. If you need a small amount of juice, “fork” the lemon by stabbing it with a fork and squeeze the juice out, then wrap and save for later. The rind holds as much or more flavor than the juice; even if a recipe doesn’t call to grate it, do so and keep it in a tiny Ziploc in the freezer, adding to it as you go. It will dry out but can be used in many recipes when you don’t have a lemon on hand.
Since we’re right around Easter, it’s a good time to mention any holiday is a great time to pick up butter, cream cheese and baking items like condensed milk. Buy butter on sale and freeze for months. Cream cheese keeps for weeks in the fridge and can be frozen.
Condensed milk is likely to go on special with coupons around any holiday. Stock up on basic pantry items like this when they’re at a low, and check Aldi, too, if you have one nearby. This recipe calls for 1/2 of a can of the condensed milk. You couldn’t go wrong with making my Frozen Coffee Frappes with the rest.
Cookies, Graham Crackers, and Graham Cracker Crumbs are other items that go on deep sale during holidays.Print
No Bake Lemon Cheesecake Parfaits
Super rich & the good dollop of Lemon Curd brightens everything up!
- Total Time: 25 minutes + chill
- Yield: 8 servings 1x
For the Lemon Curd:
- 6 large egg yolks
- Zest of 1 lemon
- 1/2 cup lemon juice
- 12 tablespoons sugar
- 1 stick, 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold, cut into pieces
For the No-Bake Lemon Cheesecake:
- 1 1/2 (8 ounce) blocks of cream cheese (12 ounces total), softened
- 1/2 can of Condensed Milk
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- zest of half a lemon
- 1 cup of shortbread or graham cracker crumbs
- Fruit, cookies or additional crumbs, if desired for garnish
For the Lemon Curd:
Combine yolks, lemon zest, lemon juice, and sugar in a small, heavy saucepan. Whisk to combine. Set over medium heat, and stir nearly constantly with a whisk, making sure to stir corners and bottom of pan. Cook until mixture is thick enough to coat back of spoon, leaving a distinct line that doesn’t fill in when swiped with a finger, 5 to 7 minutes.
Remove saucepan from heat. Add butter, one piece at a time, stirring until consistency is smooth. Transfer mixture to a small bowl. Lay a sheet of plastic wrap directly on the surface of the curd to avoid a skin from forming.
If desired, the egg yolks can be sieved before cooking or the whole batch may be sieved after. Because this curd is dolloped onto the finished dessert, sieving is optional.
For the No-Bake Lemon Cheesecake:
Beat softened cream cheese until smooth. While mixer is running, beat in the condensed milk, scrape down and beat again until incorporated. While mixer is running, drizzle in lemon juice. Scrape down and continue to beat at medium-high speed until mixture is smooth.
Spoon about a tablespoon of crumbs into each of 8 small glasses or cups. Divide the cheesecake filling over graham cracker crumbs, a good heaping tablespoon or so spoon in each. Smooth if desired. Dollop a good tablespoon of the curd over the cheesecake.
Cover and refrigerate 2 to 3 hours until chilled. Garnish with fruit, a cookie or additional crumbs if desired.
- Store cheesecakes in refrigerator up to 3 days.
- Be sure to have a use for the additional half can of condensed milk.
- You’ll need about 6 lemons for this recipe