Are you guys ready to put your feet up? I certainly am. This past week has been manic and we have had a big health scare, which turned out to be a false alarm luckily but it did stress us both out no end, caused some unpleasant emotions and disrupted sleep so I am not feeling my best. After I hit publish on this recipe, I intend to do nothing (well, less at least) for a week. I need a little breather from recipe creation so that my brain can switch off a little.
As it’s Easter and my last recipe was savoury, today I’ve decided to tackle a bit of an Easter classic – baked cheesecake. As it’s spring and spring for some reason makes many people crave lemons – it’s a curious thing, isn’t it as not only do they not grow in our part of the world, but even where they do it’s not until late summer – so I made a lemon cheesecake. Even though I am more of a chocolate, coffee and nuts kind of dessert person, I do love this cheesecake!
It’s delicate and creamy, with a deliciously crisp base that has little hints of salt. You can have it as is or if you are feeling flamboyant, make a bit of a warm blueberry sauce to top it with. It’s divine. You can also pop some blueberries into the cheesecake as it bakes if you like a bit of a blueberry treasure hunt while you eat. Whatever you do, please make it as it’s super easy to make and it’s to die for, I promise.
- 1 tbsp psyllium husks (for GF version only)
- 100 g / 1 cup almond flour
- 125 g / 1 cup GF flour mix (I used this one) or regular all purpose flour
- 50 g / ¼ cup caster sugar or coconut sugar
- ½ tsp fine salt
- 65-75 g / 5-6 tbsp odourless coconut oil or vegan butter, melted
- 200 g / 1½ cups raw cashews, soaked in boiling water for 30 minutes
- 120 ml / ½ cup oat milk (or other)
- zest of 2 lemons + 90 ml / 6 tbsp lemon juice
- 250 g / 8¾ oz silken tofu
- 125 g / ¾ cup icing sugar or ground up coconut sugar
- ½ tsp lemon extract (optional)
- 2 tsp vanilla paste or vanilla extract
- a generous pinch of turmeric (for colour)
- a generous pinch of kala namak (black salt) or regular salt
- 16 g / 2 tbsp tapioca starch
- fresh blueberries
- dollops of vegan meringue or vegan whipped cream
- If making GF version, mix psyllium husks with 30 ml / 2 tbsp of water in a small bowl and set aside to hydrate.
- Place almond flour, GF or regular flour, sugar and salt in a large mixing bowl. Mix well.
- Add in melted fat and, if making a GF crust, activated psyllium to the dry ingredients and use a little less fat (I found 5 tbsp of melted coconut oil to be sufficient). Rub them into the dry ingredients with your fingers. The mixture should resemble slightly moist crumb by the end.
- Grease the baking tin (I used a round 20 cm / 8″ springform tin) and line the bottom and the sides with baking paper.
- Using your hands, spread the crumb on the base of your tin and mould it to the bottom and a little to the side using your fingers. Compress the crust using a flat bottomed glass over a piece of baking paper. Pierce the bottom with a fork in a few places.
- Bake in a 180° C / 355° F oven for 30 minutes. Allow it to cool.
- Place drained cashews, oat milk, lemon juice and lemon zest in an upright blender. Blend until the mixture is super smooth and there are no lumps or visible grain.
- Next, add in the rest of the ingredients and blend until smooth again.
- Pour the mixture over the pre-baked base. Tap the tin against the workbench a few times to burst any air bubbles in the mixture as they will cause cracks after baking.
- Bake in a 160° C / 320° F oven for about 40-45 minutes – it’s ready when the sides are set, but the middle is still a bit wobbly. Cool completely (overnight is best) before cutting.
- Decorate with blueberries and dollops of vegan meringue or vegan whipped cream. Once cut, store leftovers in an airtight container, in the fridge for up to 5 days.