Blueberry Cheesecake “Baked” in a Stream - Backpacker

Blueberry Cheesecake “Baked” in a Stream

Kick off the 4th with this easy, delicious dessert.

While most backpackers pack a stove on their outdoor excursions, a refrigerator is another matter. Luckily, Nature provides her own, and a cold stream or lake makes the perfect outdoor cooling system. Put it to good use with this easy blueberry cheesecake recipe—for a Fourth of July twist, add raspberries, for a red, white, and blue celebration. What I like about this recipe is that you can make it as easy or as gourmet as you like. To simplify, omit the directions for the crust; instead, just sprinkle the Jell-O crust mix on top of your dessert. You can also serve cake slices on top of graham crackers, for individual mini-cakes. —Alex Geller


Jell-O No Bake Cheesecake (crust and filling mix are included)

2 tablespoons sugar

5 tablespoons butter or margarine

1/3 cup plus 3 tablespoons dehydrated milk

1 ½ cups water 

1 tablespoon lemon zest (optional for more flavor)

1 cup jelly (raspberry, strawberry, or blueberry)

1 cup blueberries, stored in a plastic container, or picked fresh from the trails


For Crust (Optional. Alternatively, you can sprinkle plain crust mix atop the cake)

Melt butter in large pot. Once melted, stir in sugar and crust mix until evenly moistened. Press mixture to the bottom of the pot. Set aside. 

For Topping (Heating is also optional, but it really juices things up)

While stove is still on, warm the jelly in the underside of a pot lid (to save dishes), and throw in the berries. Stir frequently to keep from burning. Once it's well mixed, remove from heat. Turn off your stove.

For Filling

In a bowl or large zip-top bag, mix together dehydrated milk, water, and Jell-O filling mix until thick. Mix in lemon zest. Transfer to the pot with the crust. Then pour the jam mixture on top. When finished, cover pot and bring it to your nearest (and coldest) body of water. Place the pot securely in the water (surround it with a rock wall, dig it into the sand, or tie it to a nearby branch, to keep it from floating away). Make sure the water covers about two-thirds of the pot. Let it refrigerate for an hour, and then dig in!