Nearly-Raw Unbaked Cheesecake
This almost-raw cheesecake is dense and delicious. Use strawberries to top it in warmer months, and thinly sliced pear during cooler weather. Either way, it’s a treat.
- 1 cup raw cashews
Nut and apricot crust:
- 1 cup raw almonds
- 1/2 cup raw walnuts
- 1 cup moist unsulphured dried apricots
- 2 tablespoons agar-agar (sea vegetable; see note)
- One 12.3-ounce container firm or extra-firm silken tofu
- 1/2 cup light agave nectar
- Juice of 1 large lemon
- 1 to 2 teaspoons lemon zest (optional, but highly recommended)
- Sliced strawberries or pear
Soak the cashews in hot water to cover for an hour or two, then drain when ready to start the recipe.
Combine the ingredients for the crust in a food processor fitted with the metal blade. Pulse on and off until finely chopped, then let the machine run briefly until all the ingredients are finely ground and the mixture holds together, drizzling in 2 to 3 tablespoons water as it’s running.
Transfer the nut mixture to a lightly oiled pie plate. Wipe out the food processor. Press into the pie plate evenly; use the back of a spatula to flatten the mass into the bottom of the pan, then use your hands to work it up the sides.
Combine the agar-agar with 1/2 cup water in a small saucepan. Bring to a gentle boil, then simmer until the flakes are fairly well dissolved, whisking frequently, about 5 minutes.
Transfer the agar liquid to the food processor, followed by the cashews, tofu, agave nectar, lemon juice, and optional zest. Process until the mixture is smooth, stopping the machine to scrape down the sides occasionally.
Pour the tofu mixture into the crust and pat in evenly. Refrigerate for several hours. Before serving, garnish with concentric circles of sliced strawberries or thinly sliced pear.
Note: Agar-agar (sometimes known as kanten) is sea vegetable that comes in little translucent flakes in small packages. This product, which is kind of the gelatin of the plant-based world, is readily available in natural foods stores, located with other sea vegetable products.
- Explore more of VegKitchen’s No-Bake and Raw Sweets.
- Sweet tooth still craving? Here are more Vegan Baking and Sweets.