When I think about summer desserts, this pie is always the first thing that pops into my mind. It's indulgent, yet light. It's casual and simple, yet it doesn't necessarily come off that way. It fits right in on the dessert table of your backyard barbecue, yet can hold its own at a dinner party.
There aren't many foods I don't like or won't eat, but I've spent the larger part of my life declaring I don't like cream cheese. I'm not sure why or when this even started, but I've turned by back on this spread for at least 20 years — with a couple minor exceptions.
Blend a block of cream cheese with some sugar, a dash of vanilla, and perhaps some whipped cream, and watch me do a one-eighty. I will eat that sweet mixture with reckless abandon, licking every bowl and utensil it touches.
So maybe I do like cream cheese after all. Well, at the very least I like cream cheese pie. Let's call it even and leave it at that.
Think of cream cheese pie as the summery version of cheesecake. It's lighter and fluffier, and a lot less dense. To me, this pie is what summer desserts are all about. With just a handful of ingredients, it's a simple dessert that doesn't require any fuss. And more importantly, it doesn't heat up the kitchen.
As for the fruit topping, that part is up to you. Follow my lead with sliced strawberries, a mixture of summer berries, sliced peaches, cherries, or even mango and pineapple.
No-Bake Cream Cheese Pie with Summer Fruit
Makes 1 (9-inch) pie
- For the filling:
(8-ounce) packages cream cheese, room temperature
- For the pie:
(9-inch) graham cracker crust, store-bought or homemade (baked and cooled if homemade)
fresh fruit, sliced or cut into small pieces
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese until smooth, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the sugar and vanilla extract and beat until fully incorporated, scraping down the sides of the bowl if necessary.
In a separate bowl, whip the cream, either on medium speed with the whisk attachment for a stand mixer or by hand, until stiff peaks form, about 8 minutes.
Gently fold the whipped cream into the cream cheese mixture. Pour the filling into the pie crust. Cover the pie and refrigerate for 4 hours before serving.
When ready to serve, remove the pie from the refrigerator and top with your favorite summer fruit.
Store any leftovers in the refrigerator for up to four days.