We weren’t a family that had sweets on-hand very often. Cereal couldn’t have sugar as either of the first two ingredients listed; cookies and ice cream did not make regular appearances; dessert after dinner wasn’t really a feature.
But when there were sweets, we went all out — perhaps that’s why desserts from my childhood are captured so vividly in my memory.
And an absolutely perfect chocolate cake that mom made every birthday from the time I was two until I moved out of home. It so defined family celebrations that it was a given at my US wedding reception and, by request of his future wife, made an appearance at baby-bro’s big day too.
If there was an event or a party the big guns came out in the form of classic Baked Cheesecake. The recipe made enough batter for two enormous cakes or about a thousand little bitty fruit-topped ones. But one of the first multi-step desserts I remember making myself was Lemon Meringue Pie.
The recipe was from mom’s old BH&G cookbook (the same one responsible for that insane Cheesecake) and between the pre-baked crust, stove-top custard and classic meringue, I managed to use nearly every dish and pot in the kitchen. Decades later that pie still sticks with me — not only was it was miles high, tangy and creamy, but I made it all on my own.
When ‘Childhood Favourites’ was selected as this month’s Sweet Adventures Blog Hop theme the aforementioned creations ran through my mind immediately… and in a fit of not particularly unexpected re-invention, lemon custard ended up on top of cheesecake and both were made vegan, soy and refined sugar free. (There is of course an entirely unexpected ingredient in the lemon custard — but it’s not the first time cauliflower has appeared in cake round these parts. Ha!)
I don’t think there will be any complaints if this dessert shows up at the next family gathering.
Vegan Lemon Custard Cheesecake
What may appear as a complicated recipe at first is simply a combination of three very easy ones. You would be forgiven if you made just one part and ate it on it’s own — but the combination of the base, cheesecake and custard are simply magic together and worth the wait!
Makes one 20 cm (8 inch) cake
- 1 quantity Gluten-Free Quinoa Crust
Vegan Cheesecake filling
- 1 heaped c cashews, soaked 4 hours and drained
- 1/4 c chopped dates, about 3 large
- 2 Tbsp boiling water
- 2 – 3 Tbsp lemon juice, to taste
- 1 tsp vanilla paste
- scant 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 1/4 c coconut oil, melted
Vegan Lemon Custard filling
- 1 c mashed steamed cauliflower
- generous 1/4 c lemon juice
- 1/4 c rice syrup or maple syrup
- pinch sea salt
- scant 1/4 c coconut oil, melted
- pinch ground turmeric, optional
Make the crust
Preheat oven to 180°C (350°F). Lightly grease a 20 cm (8 inch) tin with coconut oil and line base and sides with baking paper.
Make one batch of Gluten-Free Quinoa Pie Crust, press gently into the base of prepared tin then refrigerate for 10 minutes. Bake 15 mins until lightly golden and allow to cool completely.
Make the cheesecake filling
Cover dates with the boiling water, set aside to soak for 5 mins.
Blend cashews until a paste forms. Add dates and soaking liquid and blend until well incorporated. Add lemon juice, vanilla and salt and blend well. Blend in coconut oil until very smooth.
Spoon onto cooled crust, smooth top and refrigerate while you make the lemon custard.
Make the lemon filling
Puree cauliflower mash and lemon juice until very smooth. Blend in syrup and salt. Blend in coconut oil until well combined. Add more lemon juice or sweetener to taste. For a more yellow colour stir through a pinch or two of turmeric powder.
Pour over cheesecake filling and smooth top. Refrigerate at least 4 hours.
Use baking paper to lift out of pan, slice and serve.
- Pan: a removable base is best but I used a standard square cake tin and lifted the slice out without issue. Use square or round dependant on how you want to serve the final product.
- Base: you can also use a Raw Macadamia Salted Caramel Pie Crust or any other pressed-based crust you prefer.
- Cauliflower: break half of a large head into floretts and steam for about 25 mins until very soft. Mash well and measure out 1 cup for the lemon custard. Eat the rest for dinner, or lunch, or breakfast, or use it to make a Cinnamon Cauliflower Coffee Cake, whatever.
vegan // vegetarian // gluten-free // dairy-free // refined sugar-free // soy-free
SABH is a monthly blog hop brought to you by JJ from 84th & 3rd and guest hostesses.
Make sure to check out all the other creations that have been linked-up below.