Yesterday was my daughter’s 17th birthday. For her annual birthday dessert, she had a hankering for cheesecake.
When she was a little girl, she had a lot of issues with lactose. Over the years, she acclimated and did just fine with a variety of dairy. Unfortunately, over the last year or so, the lactose intolerance has re-asserted itself.
Lactaid works great for minimum dairy intake, but for things like pizza or cheesecake? Not so much.
So, no lactose and a request for cheesecake?
Thanks to Google and a simple vegan recipe found on allrecipes.com …absolutely!
I altered several things, based on both what my daughter was hoping for, as well as my previous experience making cheesecake.
My notes are in italics.
Vegan Cherry Cheezecake
(original recipe from allrecipes.com)
- 2 cups graham cracker crumbs (I used a package of chocolate Newman-Os with the filling removed)
- 1/4 cup real maple syrup (I used agave syrup)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
In a medium bowl, mix together graham cracker crumbs and 1/4 cup maple syrup. Press into a 9 inch pie tin (I used a springform pan). Bake for 5 minutes.
Before preheating oven prepare a 9″ springform pan by lining the sides and bottom with parchment paper and then covering the bottom with aluminum foil.
- 1 (8 ounce) package firm silken tofu
- 1 (8 ounce) container nondairy cream cheese (I used Toffuti)
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest
- 1 1/2 lemons, juiced
- 1 cup confectioners’ sugar (I used Splenda, but I might try Stevia next time)
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch ( +1 TBS because I didn’t use confectioners’ sugar)
- 2 tablespoons soy milk (substituted almond milk)
- 1 (21 ounce) can cherry pie filling (low-sugar)
In a blender (I used my food processor), combine tofu, vegan cream cheese, lemon zest and juice, and confectioners’ sugar. Dissolve cornstarch in soy milk, and add to the blender. Blend until smooth. Pour filling into crust.
Bake for 25 minutes at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
Reduce heat to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C), and continue baking for 15 minutes, or until set. (It took an additional 15 minutes for mine to set.)
Cool on a wire rack, and then chill for several hours.
Invert onto a plate, and then invert again onto a serving platter. Pour cherry pie filling over the top, and serve.
If you use a springform pan like I did, you will not need to invert the cheesecake, just remove the outside of the pan and then slide onto a plate. I sliced the entire cheesecake into servings and then added the cherries on top of each piece. The leftover cherries and cheesecake were stored separately in the fridge.
If were to do this again, I’d stick with the graham crackers (maybe chocolate graham crackers!). The cookies had a much stronger flavor that I anticipated which overwhelmed the delicate cheesecake flavor.
Other than the slightly strong flavor of the crust, this was a nice substitute for “real” cheesecake. It had a lovely smooth texture and tasted the way my taste buds expected it to, which is 3/4 of the battle!
I used my food processor, which made quick work of creaming together the ingredients.
I’d definitely try the recipe again, possibly doubling the filling and using it as the base for something similar to the White Chocolate Raspberry Truffle Cheesecake that my family loves so much.
I’m on the lookout for more lactose-free recipes. If you have any favorites, please do share!
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