I’m not the biggest dessert person. Sure, I like the odd slice of pie and summer just isn’t summer without a s’more or two. But my sweet tooth is fairly chill most of the time. And when it kicks up I tend to go for treats with a savoury edge. This may feel like a prelude to a dessert recipe but it’s not. Today’s Boursin No-Bake Cheesecake with Pickled Vegetables is very much a lunch option but it does appear in a dessert-like format. So what are we looking at here? This Boursin No-Bake Cheesecake features a crisp base of crushed wheat crackers accented with brown sugar and dried mustard topped with whipped cream cheese and Boursin filling decorated with ribbons of lightly pickled vegetables. It’s basically a giant cracker with cheese but you know, fancy.
This Boursin Cheesecake strikes me as the perfect “ladies-who-lunch” sort of meal. It is of course not limited to ladies. My partner had a slice and thoroughly enjoyed it. But there’s something about this cheesecake that I find old-school charming. The pickled veggie ribbons have a lot to do with it, so let’s start there.
Now, I’m not usually the sort of person that demands special equipment from you. If you don’t happen to have one particular gadget or whatnot there is usually a workaround in almost every one of my recipes. Okay, I do rely fairly heavily on my food processor but trust me, that is a piece of equipment worth investing in. But with today’s recipe, I’m going to say a mandoline is vital. That doesn’t mean you have to pop out and grab the most expensive, heavy-duty one you can find. You can get a cheap, plastic one pretty much anywhere and they will last you a surprisingly long time. And yes, they are as deadly sharp as the pricier models.
To make the pickled veggies all you have to do is slice some zucchini and heirloom carrots on a mandoline. Make them nice and thin, that way they will pickle faster and behave better when you’re decorating the cake. I opted to use heirloom carrots for their variation in color. Be sure to separate any of the punchy purple carrots from the rest of the veggies because they will dye them all a violent shade of pink. Ignore me if pink veggies are your idea of a good time, though. Mix up a big batch of 50/50 water and vinegar with 2 tablespoons of sugar and 2 teaspoons of salt. Pour the mixture over the veggies and set them aside to pickle. They will be perfect by the time the Boursin No-Bake Cheesecake is ready for them.
Now, let’s tackle the cake. This is a no-bake moment, so you’re in for some chilling time. It’s unlikely you’ll be eating this cake the same day you make it, so just mentally prepare yourself for that. This savory cheesecake starts the same way the sweet version does – with a stack of crackers and a food processor. Here we’re using whole wheat crackers, Breton crackers to be specific, instead of graham crackers. Place the crackers in the food processor along with dried mustard and a tablespoon of brown sugar. The sugar is there to reinforce the crust rather than add sweetness, so even if you’re a savory soul don’t omit it.
Pulse the crackers and spices until the crumb is relatively fine. Transfer the crumbs to a bowl and pour in the melted butter. Stir until the mixture resembles wet sand. Pour it into a springform pan and press it into the base until it is densely packed. It will still be a little crumbly, but I promise it will stay together. Transfer the crust to the fridge and chill while you move on to the filling.
The filling starts with, you guessed it, a ton of cheese. Two rounds of Boursin and a brick and a half of cream cheese to be specific. To the cheese, add a quarter cup of sour cream and beat the mixture until no lumps remain. It’s very important that you have your cheese and sour cream at room temperature. It’s a lot harder to achieve a smooth consistency when using fridge-cold cream cheese.
No-bake cheesecakes don’t have eggs, so they rely on whipped cream for their structure, lightness, and lift. So pour a cup and a quarter of heavy cream into a separate bowl. Beat the cream on high until stiff peaks form. Fold the whipped cream into the cheese mixture until no streaks remain. I like to add the cream in three batches, it’s easier to integrate this way. Once the cream is in, pour the mixture into the springform pan and smooth the top. Let the cake set for a minimum of three hours.
Now for the fun part – the decorating. I realize the design looks fairly complex but it really isn’t. You just wrap the veggies around themselves layer by layer. It’s a little time-consuming but not that bad. Just put on a podcast and get into it. I do recommend draining and patting your veggies dry before placing them on the cheesecake. They don’t have to be bone dry but they shouldn’t be sopping wet either. If you introduce too much moisture to the cheesecake filling it will start to fall apart.
And that’s everything you need to know about this Boursin No-Bake Cheesecake. Serve this with a quick side salad and you’ve got the perfect summer meal. This is your best friend if you’re entertaining. You can put all the work in the day before and then just nonchalantly pluck this fully formed beauty from the fridge ready to serve. A total magic trick if you ask me.
Boursin No-Bake Cheesecake with Pickled Veggies
- 1 9-inch springform pan
- 1 Food Processor
- 1 mandoline
- 1 Hand or Standmixer
- 1 green zucchini sliced thin on a mandoline
- 1 yellow zucchini sliced thin on a mandoline
- 1 purple heirloom carrot sliced thin on a mandoline
- 1 orange heirloom carrot sliced thin on a mandoline
- 1 yellow heirloom carrot sliced thin on a mandoline
- 2 cups water
- 2 cups white vinegar
- 2 tbsp granulated sugar
- 2 tsp salt
Boursin No-Bake Cheesecake
- 200g (7oz) whole wheat crackers I used Breton brand
- 1 tbsp brown sugar
- 1 tsp dried mustard
- ½ cup unsalted butter melted
- 300g (10.5oz) Boursin** room temperature
- 340g (12oz) cream cheese room temperature
- ¼ cup sour cream room temperature
- 1¼ cup heavy cream
For the Veggies
- Place the green zucchini, yellow zucchini, yellow carrot, and orange carrot slices in a large container. Place the purple carrot in a separate container. Set both aside.1 green zucchini, 1 yellow zucchini, 1 purple heirloom carrot, 1 orange heirloom carrot, 1 yellow heirloom carrot
- Pour the water and vinegar into a large pitcher. Add the sugar and salt and stir to combine. Pour a quarter of the solution over the purple carrots and the remaining 3/4 over the other veggies. Let pickle at room temperature for a minimum of 3 hours. Or transfer the veggies to the fridge and let pickle overnight.2 cups water, 2 cups white vinegar, 2 tbsp granulated sugar, 2 tsp salt
For the Cheesecake
- Place the crackers in a food processor. Add the brown sugar and the dried mustard and pulse until fine crumbs form.200g (7oz) whole wheat crackers, 1 tbsp brown sugar, 1 tsp dried mustard
- Pour the crushed crackers into a bowl and pour the butter on top. Stir to combine with a rubber spatula until the mixture resembles wet sand. Pour the cracker mixture into a 9” springform pan. Pack the crumbs into the base until a dense layer forms. Transfer to the fridge and chill while making the filling.½ cup unsalted butter
- Place the Boursin, cream cheese, and sour cream in a large bowl or the mixing bowl of a stand mixer. Using either a paddle attachment or a hand mixer, beat the cheeses together until the mixture is very smooth.300g (10.5oz) Boursin**, 340g (12oz) cream cheese, ¼ cup sour cream
- In a separate bowl, pour the cream. Using a hand or stand mixer with a whisk attachment, whip the cream until stiff peaks form. Add a third of the cream to the cheese mixture and fold until no streaks remain. Repeat with the remaining two-thirds.1¼ cup heavy cream
- Pour the cheese filling into the pan and smooth the top. Cover and transfer to the fridge. Chill for at least 3 hours or overnight.
- When ready to decorate, drain the pickle veggies and pat them dry with a paper towel. *** Carefully run a butter knife around the edges of the cheesecake and release and remove the ring from the spring form pan.
- Coil up a piece of pickled carrot and place it in the center of the cake. Continue to build about the carrot with the remaining pickled veggies to form a spiral. You may have to cut some of the bigger slices of zucchini in half.
- Return the cheesecake to the fridge and chill for at least 30 minutes prior to slicing and serving.