Baked Lemon Cheesecake (Oh and its GF and Vegan DAMN!)

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My mother has a killer baked cheesecake recipe. It featured at my birthday for pretty much my whole life. Recipe was straight outta the Philadelphia cream cheese pack, with a couple of notable additions: lots of lemon zest in the mix, and once baked, a paper doily was placed over the top, and cinnamon sprinkled over to form an actual cinnamon doily. I know right - that is some RAD 80's business right there. I love that cheesecake for the memories and flavor in equal measure, and was determined to veganise it.

And I did.

Many of the vegan cheesecakes rely on the cashew or tofu for their bulk, and are often frozen so you have to serve and eat before they slide off the plate. These are more like a ricotta style cheesecake, and while OK, they ain't my mommas. This version is more your Noo Yawk style, Brooklyn rather than Manhattan. I have to confess there was a lack of doily action on top, but that was due to a doily shortage rather than aesthetic snobbery. This slice was served a-la-mode using canned soy cream. Whhhheeeeeeeeeee. I resisted squirting it into my mouth in celebration. Just.

Tools

20cm Springform baking pan, lined with baking paper, sprayed lightly with coconut oil

Ingredients

Base

1 box gluten free ginger snaps

1 box plain gluten free biscuits 

125g coconut oil, melted

1/4tsp cinnamon

Filling

1 x 400g tin coconut sweetened condensed milk (in Asian section of supermarket)

500g vegan cream cheese, soften to room temperature (I use the Sheeze or tofurtti brand)

300ml coconut cream

4 vegan eggs equivalent

1 vanilla pod, scraped or 2 teaspoons vanilla paste or 3 teaspoons vanilla extract

Zest of one large lemon + juice

Lets DO This!

  1. Preheat oven to 160c (0r 140 c fan forced)
  2. Grease and line a 20cm spring form baking dish
  3. Blend together biscuits to form a crumbly mix, add coconut oil (you can mix this up with a little shredded coconut or toasted almond if you want more texture)
  4. Line bottom and sides of baking dish up to 3 cm up the sides with the mix. Place in the fridge while mixing the filling.
  5. Using an electric mixer, beat condensed milk, vanilla and cream cheese together on medium speed until smooth and creamy. Add vegan eggs and coconut cream and whisk until light and fluffy. Add in lemon juice and zest and combine well.
  6. Pour mixture into the prepared pan. Bake 1 hour, check and turn 180 degrees halfway through. When just firm in the centre turn off oven and leave the door open to cool.
  7. Serve with whipped cream or yoghurt. You can add a salted caramel sauce, or a berry glaze, but as mum would say, don't guild the lily.
Polly McGee