Traditional cheesecake requires multiple stages of baking -- first the crust and then the filling often resulting in a golden-topped cheesecake with slight cracks. If you are pressed for time, dread turning on the oven on a warm evening, or simply want to use up a left over tin of sweetened condensed milk, a no-bake cheesecake is a rewarding, simple and fast treat that can hold its own against the traditional baked version. The key to no-bake cheesecakes is to allow it enough time to set properly before serving.
Crush two packets of biscuits either in a plastic zip bag or in a food processor to prepare the crust. Add one and a half packets of melted butter to the crushed biscuits along with the sugar and mix to combine.
Press the rumb mixture into the bottom of the spring-form pan and up along the sides to form a crust about 5 cm (2 inches) high. Place the crust-filled pan in the freezer and let it sit until needed.
Beat the room-temperature cream cheese in an electric mixer or by hand until soft and creamy. Add a can of condensed milk and beat until incorporated. Add the lemon juice and vanilla extract. You can add cinnamon or other spices or replace the lemon juice with a liqueur if desired. Stir until the mixture is uniform.
Remove the pan from the freezer. Using a rubber spatula, slowly pour the filling into the chilled crust. Scrape the sides of the bowl and gently smooth out the top with the spatula.
Refrigerate the cheesecake for at least three hours. The filling must be thoroughly chilled in order to set -- an unset cheesecake will turn to pudding and melt all over the plate once cut.
Remove the outer rim from the spring-form pan only when ready to serve. Garnish the cake with fresh berries, chocolate, caramel sauce or nuts.
Instead of making your own crust with biscuits, you can buy a pre-made pie crust.