Living a vegan lifestyle for the past 20 yrs. has not hindered my sweet tooth. I’ve always loved desserts and I have a passion for baking, especially when I get to share with loved ones. When my fiancé had a craving for cheesecake I wanted to see if I could satisfy the craving with a vegan version. I did a quick search for vegan cheesecake recipes and decided on a version posted by the Food Network Kitchen with a few of my own alterations. The response was “ it was really good, the texture was like cheesecake but it doesn’t taste like cheese”. After 20 yrs. without cheese, I couldn’t tell you what cheese tastes like, but this version reminded me more of a lovely key lime pie. Feel free to change the lemons in the recipe to limes, and I couldn’t find extra firm tofu, and my version worked just fine with firm tofu. Try it and let me know what you think!
Coconut Oil to grease your 9” spring form pan
18 sheets graham crackers (vegan of course, and 2 sleeves is approx. 18 sheets)
3 Tbl fine unrefined sugar
3 Tbl melted vegan margarine (I use Earth Balance)
2 Tbl water
1 ½ lbs extra firm silken tofu, pressed to get all the water out in a strainer
1 lb vegan cream cheese (I found a coconut milk version that worked fine)
1 ½ cups fine unrefined sugar
1 Tbl cornstarch
1 Tbl pure vanilla
1 Tbl freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 Tbl freshly grated organic lemon zest (about 2 lemons)
1Tbl freshly squeezed orange juice
1 Tbl freshly grated organic orange zest
2 cups of your favorite berries I used blueberries and raspberries
Preheat oven to 350
Grease your pan with a bit of coconut oil. In a food processor blend the graham crackers and sugar until fine dust, then add the margarine and water to the mix and blend until well combined. Pour the crust mixture into the pan and press evenly into the bottom and about 2 “ up the side. Bake until lightly brown about 15min. Cool on a rack.
Clean out your food processor for your filling. Add the tofu and process until just about fluffy consistency (about 2 min). Add in the rest of your filling ingredients and process until well combined. Pour into the cooled crust and bake approx. 1 hr or until the outside is set but center is a bit loose. Turn off the oven and leave the cake for 30 min more. Remove from the oven and let cool. Cover and keep refrigerated before serving. If the top of the cake seems wet before serving, dab it with a paper towel and add your fresh berries and serve. This keeps well in the fridge for up to a week……if you can make it last that long!