In the summer there is nothing like a Japanese-style "rare" cheesecake. It is light and refreshing, doesn't require any baking, and Mayumi and I could probably polish an entire cake off by ourselves. Supremely oishii. Here's the way I learned to make it from my mom.
Kumi's Japanese Rare Cheesecake
1 cup crushed Nilla Wafers
3 T butter, melted
1 T sugar
1 T gelatin (1 packet of Knox Gelatine)
1/4 cup water
1/3 cup milk
1 egg, yolk and whites separated
1/4 cup sugar
8 oz cream cheese, softened
2-3 T lemon juice and zest (from one good-sized lemon)
1 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 whipping cream
Combine crushed wafers, melted butter, and sugar in a bowl. Press the crumbs into the bottom of an 8 inch round cake pan or springform pan.
Dissolve gelatin in water in a small cup and set aside. Scorch milk in a small saucepan and then add in gelatin mixture, egg yolk, sugar and vanilla extract. Mix well while bringing the mixture to a light boil, then remove from heat. Meanwhile, mix together softened cream cheese, lemon juice and rind. Add gelatin mixture and combine well and allow to cool a bit.
Whip egg whites until peak, adding a pinch of sugar. Remove stiff egg whites from bowl and then whip whipping cream. Gently fold egg whites and whipped cream into cooled (not warm) cream cheese mixture then pour over crust. (Mom likes to push mixture through a sieve to remove any clumps and lemon rind). Chill in the refrigerator for 3 hours or until firm. Decorate with a sprinkling of crushed wafers and/or fruit before serving.