Today I’m lucky to have the lovely Autumn here from one of the most delightful blogs, Autumn Makes and Does. I’m a huge fan of Autumn’s preserving projects, gluten-free sweets, and DIY cocktails and relevant accoutrements. (She’s a spirits columnist for Serious Eats, so she knows what she’s doing!) She and another awesome friend of mine, co-host a podcast together that’s adorable and hilarious. You should check it out. But for now, stay here a moment and check out this fantastic vegan “cheesecake” she brought us today. It’s a doozy!
I know we’re in the pink weeks, the stretch of days leading up to Valentine’s Day when cupcakes, cocktails, and even ravioli are coming up rosy. As much as I tend toward cynicism and toward being not-that-girly, I really do like pink. This is all to say, it takes something really special for me to pass up the opportunity to indulge in a pink treat and this pistachio cheesecake is it.My favorite thing about pistachios is that they’re rich and elegant, without being too heavy. Blended with cashews in this vegan cheesecake, pistachios give the dessert a really pretty, muted green hue that really makes this a celebration-worthy dessert. Even with a run-of-the-mill blender, which I totally have, the cashews and pistachios blend up into a super smooth cheesecake thanks to an overnight soak in water. The result is a totally fancypants, creamy vegan cheesecake that is perfect for showing a little love.
A quick note about the 6-inch springform pan, which this recipe uses and I absolutely adore. I’m very much a “make due with what you’ve got” sort of girl and am really not one to go out and buy a pan just because a recipe says I need to. For whatever reason, I threw caution to the wind and bought a 6-inch springform pan to make a little flourless chocolate cake from Smitten Kitchen. Turns out, I love this little pan so much that now I make recipes like this one that are specifically for it. I find it’s just the right size portion-wise and it’s pretty cute too. (That said, before I had my 6-inch springform pan, I made a version of this in a saran-wrap lined round pyrex and it worked ok. I left enough extra saran-wrap that I was able to use it to pull out the cake).
- 6 medjool dates, pitted, halved, and at room temperature
- ½ cup raw pecans
- ⅛ teaspoons salt
- ¾ cup raw cashews, soaked overnight
- ¾ cup raw or roasted and unsalted shelled pistachios, soaked overnight (I find that raw pistachios are especially hard to find, so roasted and unsalted work fine here too)
- 2 Tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 vanilla bean, split and scraped
- ⅓ cup liquid coconut oil
- ⅓ cup agave
- chopped pistachios for garnish (optional)
- Rub coconut oil on a 6-inch springform pan and set aside.
- In a food processor or mini-chopper combine the dates, pecans, and salt. Blend until uniform and the pecans look like a very coarse meal.
- Press the pecan/date mixture into the springform pan using your fingers to achieve a relatively even thickness. Set aside.
- Strain the cashews and pistachios of their soaking liquid and rinse them well. Place them in a blender with the lemon juice, vanilla bean seeds, coconut oil, and agave.
- Pulse a few times to begin to break down the nuts. Blend on high until the mixture is very smooth. This took me about 2-3 minutes of blending and I had to stop and scrape the sides a few times.
- Pour the filling mixture onto the crust and smooth the surface. Cover with foil and place in the freezer until solid, at least 4 hours.
- When ready to serve remove from the freezer 30 minutes prior to serving and immediately remove the outer ring of the springform pan. Garnish with chopped pistachios if desired.
- Any leftovers can be stored in the fridge.