Spiel written by Meal and a Spiel operational guru Rachel Davidson.
This vegan cheesecake surpassed all my expectations. Seriously. I am not a person who typically eats dairy-free or gluten-free, and when Elana told me she wanted to try making a vegan cheesecake, I was more than a little skeptical. Especially when she announced that she wanted to make the filling using garbanzo beans. To my dairy-addicted tastebuds, this seemed insane. Blended beans making up the creamy filling of a cheesecake? Yeah right.
She had been soaking the cashews in the fridge for several days, and decided to make the cheesecake more than anything just to use the nuts before they went bad. She had poked around on the internet for vegan cheesecake recipe that seemed inspired and had come across the Tasty Vegan Cheesecake from thetastyk.com. I poked through Elana’s kitchen, gathering ingredients to create the creamy, indulgent texture and flavor of a truly epic cheesecake filling. Coconut milk, apple cider vinegar, lemons, cornstarch, vanilla, maple syrup….it’s amazing to be able to make pie and not have to go to the market!
As with most of her recipes, the stroke of brilliance that makes it so incredible was a whim of Elana’s. She had a small jar of pistachio butter in the back of her fridge, a gift originally intended for some unknowing beneficiary, that never quite made it to its destination. Where this vegan cheesecake recipe called for almond butter, or other recipes call for sticky, cream cheese alternatives, she thought, “Why not use this?” For no reason other than that she had it. We tasted the pistachio butter before dropping it into the Vitamix, and oh my god it was so good. It was at that point that I began to have faith in the recipe.
I blended up the ingredients for the filling — and I literally do mean blended, it’s so incredibly easy — while Elana was working on her book at the computer, lifting her attention to give me instructions at each step. Wish there was an app…cooking teacher dictates while you cook.
She got up from her writing to make the crust and topping. It’s a variation of the crusts she uses for raw and vegan desserts. Her pantry is filled with enviable jars of different kinds of nuts and seeds, and she improvised a crust with sweet pecans, bitter walnuts, healthy pumpkin seeds, and delicious dates. For the topping, she opened the fridge, saw some raspberries and just blended them up with a touch of honey and lemon. How did she think of that? Note to self….start thinking like that!
The resulting dessert is a perfectly creamy, insanely indulgent cheesecake with a crumbly crust and tart fruit topping.
Hope you love it as much as we did. And happy Fourth of July!
- 1 cup raw walnuts
- 3/4 cup raw pecans
- 1/2 cup raw pistachios
- 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
- 7 dates pitted
- large spoonful of coconut oil
- 2 cups cashews, soaked overnight in water
- 1 (14oz) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 Tbsp pistachio butter*
- zest of 2 lemons
- juice of 2 lemons
- ⅓ cup maple syrup
- 2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 can full-fat coconut milk
- 2 Tbsp cornstarch
*If you can’t find pistachio butter, any sort of nut butter will do. If using another nut butter, be sure to use 2/3 cup of maple syrup to adjust the sweetness.
for Berry Topping:
Preheat the oven to 320°F.
For the crust, place all ingredients in your high-speed blender or food processor and blend until you have a sticky, grainy texture. If too dry, add more coconut oil.
Line a 9 or 10 inch springform pan with parchment paper and press the crust into the bottom of the tin. You want about a 1/4 inch layer. Don’t make it too thick. If you have extra crust, you can line the sides of the tin with it.
For the filling, adding all ingredients to your blender and blend until smooth and fluffy.
Once smooth, pour the filling over the crust and place in the oven for 50 minutes. You can start checking it at 45 minutes. You want the cake to jiggle some, and be soft in the middle, but not liquidy.
Once it’s done, take it out, let cool down and put in the fridge for a couple hours or overnight.
Before you are ready to serve, put the raspberries, honey, and lemon juice in your blender or food processor and bring to a pulp.
Top the cake with puree and generous blueberries at your Fourth of July picnic!