Wednesday, 16 November 2016

The Carefree Baker's Road Trip Down Memory Lane Lemon & Blueberry Cheesecake (Vegan Nut-Safe, Gluten-Free)

Merry morn my resplendent troubadours,

I remember when my Gran used to bake cheesecake it became a road trip.  A road trip you say?  Yes, a road trip.  To explain, back in the days of yore (early 80’s), we didn’t have the convenience of supermarkets and the small local stores did not sell such exotic items as cream cheese.  So, if we wanted a cheesecake then my grandparents would pack us grandkids (three of us) in the back of their tiny Ford Fiesta and we would head down the coast.  The reason for this trip, which usually involved a picnic, was because there was a small delicatessen in a town called Troon that sold proper unpasteurised cream cheese which was the main ingredient of my Gran’s cheesecake. 

I remember there was a health scare in the 80’s whereby it became illegal to sell unpasteurised cheese and we couldn’t get it anymore, my goodness my Gran was livid; she’d have to start using Philadelphia like the normal folk.

It’s strange, my memory of cheesecake as a child involves a long car journey and a picnic but I can’t actually remember the cheesecake itself. 

My mum’s idea of a cheesecake was the one that was found in the frozen aisle of the local supermarket; bless her, she hates puddings and therefore the idea of actually making one from scratch would have filled her with dread.  So my sister and I grew up in a family of dessert extremes; my Gran would travel for hours to get first class ingredients and my mum would buy whatever was cheapest in the supermarket.  I think I took my baking gene from my Gran; no bad thing surely.

I have my own family now and they all love cheesecake.  My eldest son loves a good New York cheesecake; thick and creamy with just vanilla as its’ flavour, my eldest daughter loves all things chocolate (as does her wee sister) but my youngest son will just eat anything sweet and is therefore non-plussed as long as it’s a great big “dodd” (Scottish slang for huge slice/piece).

None of my immediate family are allergic to the usual components of a cheesecake so I’ve always been able to follow a conventional recipe, however when making this for family members with varying dietary requirements it’s not actually any more hassle. 

This recipe is a no-bake bad-boy and therefore is really an assembly job rather than a “baking” job.  I’ve chosen lemon and blueberries but you could really use any citrus fruit and berry combo that you like.  Lemon and raspberry are also a smashing combination, so there your excuse to make it more than once!

So here we go...

The Carefree Bakers Vegan, Gluten-Free and Nut-Safe Lemon and Blueberry Cheesecake

For the base:

250 grams plain vegan, nut safe and gluten free biscuits (I used Tesco Free-From Digestive Biscuits)
100 grams of dairy-free spread
1 tablespoon caster sugar
Finely grated zest of 1 lemon

For the squidgy bit

200 grams of dairy-free cream cheese (I used Tesco Free-From variety) at room temperature
140 grams of vegan whipped cream (see here for recipe)
4 tablespoons of lemon juice
Zest of 1 lemon
3 tablespoons of caster sugar
250 grams of blueberries


Gently melt the dairy-free spread in a pot.
Put the biscuits into a food processor and pulse until you get a fine mixture; you don’t want sand but a fine rubble will do.  If you are having a rubbish day, or you don’t have a food processor you could also but the biscuits in a food bag and whack whack whack with the back of a ladle or a rolling pin.
Once you’ve got your fine rubble, stir through the sugar and the lemon zest.
Add in the melted butter and mix it all together until everything is overly familiar.
Using the back of a spoon, press the crumb mixture onto the base of a spring-form pan (roughly 6-8 inches diameter).  Press it firmly so that the mixture is tightly packed.
Chill it in the fridge for at least one hour or until it is set firm.
While the base is chillin’, make the whipped cream (see recipe here).
Whip the cream till it is able to hold its’ own shape.
Whip together the cream cheese (should be at room temperature), sugar, lemon juice, lemon zest and sugar.
Gently fold in the whipped cream to combine.

Remove the base from the fridge and put a layer of berries directly on top of the crust, but save some for the top of the cheesecake.
Pour the lemon cream cheese filling on top of the berries.
Put the remaining berries on top of the cheesecake.
Put the cheesecake back in the fridge to set for at least eight hours until.
Serve it chilled with more of the decadent whipped cream (and fruit if you’re feeling guilty).
Eat and enjoy
See, no hardship, no trauma, just cheesecake.

Until the next time troops,



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