As a vegan, it’s always a little weird going to people’s houses for meals, especially big holiday gatherings. There’s a fine line between politely declining something, and seeming like a snob. I always get a little nervous, just because I don’t want people to think I’m being pretentious, and I also don’t want anyone to feel they have to cater to me. (Although, my aunt made a vegan tofu dish one time when I was home visiting, and the fact that she went out of the way to do that blew me out of the water.)
For Easter this year, we were going to my husband’s aunt’s house, so I wanted to make sure we brought something. For one, so that I would have something to eat and it wouldn’t be awkward just sitting there while everyone else was eating, and second, to show people that vegan food can taste good. To insure the latter, I wanted to be sure to make something not weird, and it had to be appealing.
We brought macaroni and cheese (from Chloe’s Kitchen, which I HIGHLY recommend), and a raspberry cheesecake. Everyone really enjoyed both, and no one even suspected they were vegan. The macaroni and cheese basically disappeared, and my husband (who never says anything is more than “okay”) made sure that we brought home the few pieces of cheesecake that were left and brought them into work for a snack.
Both dishes were a small step down from the usually more healthy dishes I make at home, but they are great meals to feed to non-vegans. And they both taste totally amazing. Recipe is down below.
Notes: I like to use ginger snap cookies for the crust, because the flavor goes really well with the cheesecake. My husband and mother, neither who like ginger snaps, like the crust because it doesn’t have a strong ginger flavor. It’s more sweet and buttery. Also, this cake will take about an hour and 45 minutes to bake, it will need to cool on the counter at room temperature, and then will need to set in the refrigerator for at least 6 hours so plan ahead. I made this one the day before Easter.
The consistency is exactly like a normal cheesecake.
I got a little carried away with all the raspberry swirls.
- 1.5 cups cookie crumbs (ginger snaps or other)
- 1/3 cup melted margarine (more if needed)
- 2 tbsp sugar
- 3 (8 ounce) containers vegan cream cheese (I like to use Tofutti)
- 1.5 cup sugar
- 3 teaspoons vanilla
- 3-5 tablespoons lemon juice
- 4 tablespoons cornstarch or arrowroot
- Spray a 9 inch spring form pan lightly with cooking spray.
- Crush up cookies or blend in processor.
- In a mixing bowl, combine cookie crumbs with non-dairy butter and sugar. You can add a little more melted butter if the mixture won’t stick together.
- Press mixture into bottom of pan.
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Combine cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla in a food processor or blender.
- Add lemon juice. Start with 3 tbsp, taste, and then add more if desired.
- Finally, beat in the cornstarch.
- If you’re doing swirls or fruit on top, blend fresh or frozen fruit in a blender, then heat in a small sauce pan until liquid. This should only take a few minutes.
- Remove from heat and stir 1-2 tbsp of the filling mixture into the fruit sauce to give it a thicker consistency.
- Pour the filling into the crust and then dollop the fruit topping onto the cake. Run a knife through the the dollops of fruit and swirl around the cake.
- Bake for 45 minutes. Then turn off oven and let bake for another hour.
- Let cool on the counter in pan on a wire rack and cover with an inverted plate. Once room temperature, set in fridge at least 6 hrs.
If you’d like another amazing cheesecake recipe (Mini Pumpkin Cheesecakes anyone?), head over to Tofutti’s blog, where they featured one of my recipes!