As I was working toward cleaning out “stuff” I came across a recipe I had forgotten all about. Handwritten in absolutely perfect penmanship it was like looking at a dear sweater and remembering where, when and how much you paid for it. My friend Maia had given me the recipe too many years ago for me to need to write down… before adopting a plant-based diet even crossed my mind (ok, I toyed with vegetarianism for years even then), but because traditional cheesecake always made me ill (I ate it anyway back then) and I wanted to try something better. I admit, I was excited at the time when she gave me the recipe, but I never made it. To come across this just now, when the timing couldn’t have been better–I just picked fresh blueberries–it was meant to be.
In my Sunday cooking fury, I had FIVE recipes taped to the cupboard door and I was working them all simultaneously–plus prepping for the ones in my head still brewing. (It was a good Sunday.) The tofu cheesecake, however, was the one I was most excited to make. And it was super easy!
The only adjustment I made to her recipe was the graham cracker crust. I subbed out Fiber One cereal for the graham crackers–they are lower in calories and (surprisingly) have few ingredients listed on the box than graham crackers, plus, hey, more fiber. The recipe is below using an adjustment Maia had noted as to how she always makes it, and what I followed.
Tofu “Cheese-less” Cake
2 cups graham cracker crumbs (I used Fiber One cereal)
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
- Preheat over to 350 degrees.
- Grease 9 inch pie plate or spring-form pan.
- Mix crumbs, syrup, and extract until crumbs are moistened. (I did this in the food processor for speed.)
- Scoop mixture into the pan and press down firmly and up the sides of the pan.
- Bake until set. Approximately 5 minutes. Allow to cool while preparing the filling.
- You will want to leave oven on for the …
24 ounces (2 packages) firm silken tofu (I used super firm tofu since I had it on hand)
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 tablespoon tahini or almond butter
1 1/2 tablespoon cornstarch dissolved in 3 tablespoons non-dairy milk
2-3 teaspoons grated lemon peel
3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon almond extract
- Blend all filling ingredients together in food processor until smooth, stopping to scrap down the sides as necessary.
- Pour filling into the cooled crust.
- Place back into the oven and bake until lightly brown on top (approximately 30 minutes).
- Allow to cool on wire rack and then refrigerate for approximately 2 hours until firm and completely chilled.