No Bake Crème Fraîche Cheesecake with Blackberries

From The Eli’s Cheesecake Cookbook: Remarkable Recipes From a Chicago Legend, available here!


We decided to include a recipe for no-bake cheesecake because we wanted to cover every type of cheesecake for The Eli’s Cheesecake Cookbook, our complete guide to America’s favorite dessert. Refrigerated no-bake cheesecakes have been popular since the 1930s, when most homes had their own electric refrigerators. It’s especially great for college dorms, where students usually don’t have access to an oven. Believe it or not, dorm-room cheesecake is still a thing.


  1. Prepare the Almond Streusel recipe (see recipe below). Follow the recipe as directed. Divide the streusel evenly into the bottoms of 8 (10-ounce) tumbler glasses arranged on a baking sheet.
  2. Prepare the Crème Fraîche No-Bake batter (see recipe below). Follow the recipe as directed. While the batter is still fresh and has not yet firmed up, divide it evenly into each of the tumbler glasses. Pour slowly to ensure that the streusel is not displaced. (Use a pitcher with a pouring spout or a pastry bag to ensure a clean pour.) Refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight.
  3. Prepare Blackberry Compote (see recipe below). Just prior to serving, top the individual servings with the Blackberry Compote and a strip the lemon zest, if desired. Serve cold.


Almond Streusel


1/2 cup all-purpose flour

3/4 cup granulated sugar

5 tablespoons cold unsalted butter

1/4 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup slivered almonds

  1. Preheat the oven to 325°F.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the flour, sugar, and salt.

Beat on low speed until well combined.

  1. Using a pastry blender or fork, cut in the butter until the mixture is crumbly. Be careful not to overmix.
  2. Using a wooden spoon or silicone spatula, gently stir in the almonds. (It is always best to do this by hand, as the paddle on a mixer will break and crush the almonds.)
  3. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Crumble the mixture onto the baking sheet and bake for 8 to 10 minutes, until the mixture starts to brown. (Watch it carefully—the streusel should be only lightly toasted.) Remove from the oven and set aside to cool to room temperature, about 1 hour.


Crème Fraîche No-Bake Cheesecake Batter


1 teaspoon unflavored gelatin powder

2 teaspoons cold water

2 cups water

2/3 cup granulated sugar, divided

2 large egg yolks, room temperature

2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, room temperature

3/4 cup crème fraîche

1 cup heavy cream

1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  1. In a small mixing bowl, stir together the gelatin powder and the cold water. Set aside to bloom.
  2. Make a sabayon: Place the 2 cups of water in a saucepan over medium–high heat and bring to a boil. Place a medium heatproof stainless bowl on top of the boiling water and add 1/3 cup of the sugar and the egg yolks to the stainless bowl. Whisk vigorously until fluffy ribbons form in the mixture and the temperature reaches 150°F. Remove from the heat and whisk in the bloomed gelatin until the mixture is fully combined. Set aside.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese on medium speed for 2 to 3 minutes, until it is smooth and free of lumps.
  4. Resume mixing at medium speed. One at a time, add the remaining 1/3 cup of the sugar, the crème fraîche, and the heavy cream to the bowl of the stand mixer and beat on medium speed for 1 to 2 minutes, until the mixture is smooth and creamy. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the stand mixer bowl and add the vanilla. Using a wooden spoon or silicone spatula, stir until fully combined.
  5. Fold the cream cheese mixture into the sabayon. Pour immediately into serving containers to set. Refrigerate until serving.


Blackberry Compote


3 cups (1 1/2 pints) fresh blackberries, divided

1/2 cup water

1/3 cup granulated sugar

1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice


  1. In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine 1 cup of the blackberries, water, sugar, and lemon juice and bring to a boil. Boil, stirring frequently, for 3 to 4 minutes, until the sugar is dissolved and the volume has reduced by half. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool to lukewarm.
  2. Place the blackberry mixture in a blender and purée. Pour the purée into a fine sieve over a mixing bowl and force it through. Discard any remaining seeds in the sieve.
  3. Stir the remaining 2 cups blackberries into the mixture. Mix well and set aside, covered, until ready to use.