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No Bake Margarita Cheesecake

From Emeril Lagasse, comes this delicious recipe for a cheesecake that is unbelievably easy to make, and is virtually foolproof.  Oh yeah, it tastes pretty good too.  Essentially, it uses gelatin to provide the thickening power, and it all happens in the fridge.  The flavor is wonderful (it really does taste like a margarita) and could be easily adapted with other flavor components.  Be creative, and try other things, but in the meantime this recipe is a keeper.

1 - -ounce envelopes unflavored powdered gelatin
1 cup   sugar
cup   water
1 pounds   cream cheese, at room temperature
1 cup   sour cream
cup   fresh lime juice
cup   premium tequila
cup   Grand Marnier or triple sec (see note)
2 teaspoons   finely grated lime zest
teaspoon   salt
Pretzel Crust, recipe follows

In a small saucepan, combine the gelatin and sugar. Add the water, stir, and cook over medium heat until the gelatin dissolves, about 2-3 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool slightly.

In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese until smooth. Add the sour cream, lime juice, tequila, liqueur, lime zest, and salt, and beat to combine. Add the dissolved gelatin mixture and mix well. Pour into the prepared crust and chill until very firm, 3 to 4 hours.

To serve, remove the outer ring from the spring form pan. Cut with a thin, sharp knife dipped in hot water and serve.

Pretzel Crust:

1 cups   crushed pretzels
2 tablespoons   sugar
cup   melted butter

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. In a food processor, pulse the pretzels to make cup of crumbs. Add the sugar and pulse to combine. Add the butter and mix well.

Transfer to a 9-inch spring form pan, pressing onto the bottom and slightly up the sides. Bake until set, about 6 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool on a wire rack.

Notes:

For those not familiar with making your own margaritas, Grand Marnier (marn-YAY) and triple sec are both orange flavored liqueurs, but Grand Marnier is wildly expensive.  There are many inexpensive brands of triple sec, and they work almost as well.

 

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