Mini Raspberry Pistachio No-Bake Cheesecakes / by Julie Schumacher

We eat with our eyes, ya know?

When I spotted a raspberry pistachio no-bake cheesecake as a link to a post by Eva Kosmas for One King's Lane, it was the picture that made me gasp. Pistachios are not something that usually makes me gasp, to be honest. I don't know if I'd ever willingly eaten a pistachio before. But the picture of a pink and green cheesecake grabbed my attention, for sure. Her photography of this cheery dessert was so dark and intense.

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I'd read about glue-as-milk in advertising for cereals. But before working with Kelly, I didn't know much about the art and science of food photography.

Now? I pay attention. To colors and composition and props and lighting and all that. I'm not pretending I'm incredible at it...but I pay attention and I can now better appreciate the magic Kel makes. So when I'm menu planning for events I'm thinking about shape and color and texture to give her something to work with.

Over the last three years, I have effectively pinned a million desserts for a million salons, events, imaginary parties and more. You'd think I have enough to keep me busy but a picture can still get me and make me alter a menu. Like I said, Eva Kosmas and her pic grabbed me. Then I was lost in her blog for a good long while. All that moody food I would love to get my mitts on reminded me of food photographer Marte Marie Fosberg, who Kelly Connolly of Nimble Well turned me on to and the Instagram feed of Sugar et al,, the creator of the ombre cheesecake from our spring salon and this glorious, gluttonous GOT pic from Kelly Allison. YUM.

I'd tried Sugar et al.'s no-bake cheesecake for our spring salon to good results but these flavors and visuals were different enough that it warranted another go. Freeze dried raspberries provide the color and a graham cracker-pistachio crust can get even this girl to get on board the pistachio train.

A no-bake dessert is a great option when you are baking a million other things and worried about timing. If it were ever hot in Chicago this Spring/Summer, it would also be great for that. Any oven relief on a hot day is a good thing.

Since we had a few other cakes in the makes of the 9" variety, I wanted to mix it up a bit by doing mini-cheesecakes. These are 6" springforms, I doubled the crust recipe which worked well but had a significant amount of raspberry cream cheese mix left over.

This was the one dessert I didn't prep a gluten free option and, looking back, I should've put the extra raspberry mix in ramekins and chilled them for an easy crust-free treat which could've been topped with pistachios and berries for some matchy-matchy magic.

PS: Have you seen Kelly's tips for Instagram pics? Use 'em to enter the Forth Instagram giveaway. We wanna see how you summer! Could be a snap of something yummy, something sunny, anything that smacks of summer. Entries are due by tomorrow so hop to it.