These lazy hazy days of high summer call for easy, delicious recipes to share with family and friends. I’m not sure about you, but the last place I want to be on an August afternoon is in the kitchen minding a hot oven.
A far more alluring prospect is to speedily throw a few natural ingredients in a bowl, skip the baking stage altogether and end up with a gorgeous and impressive looking dessert. This is the perfect pud for picnics or tea parties. Just add friends, iced tea and scatter cushions. Bliss…
This particular pudding is from our second book, which is packed to the rafters with very easy and adaptable recipes. We’ve made this as a gluten free version but you can also convert it to be dairy free and vegan if you wish. Happily we are now spoilt for choice with regards to decent dairy free alternatives to cream cheese, cream and butter. You can adapt this recipe to be nut free too.
Any summer fruits will work – we’ve tried it with roasted rhubarb and ginger as well as a blackberry with lemon and orange version. Strawberries, mint and dark chocolate would be dreamy too.
The only added sugar in this recipe is a bit of icing sugar in the cream cheese topping. All the other sweetness naturally comes from the fruit. As a result it is deliciously refreshing and not remotely cloying.
Dairy free suggestions included.
Nut free suggestions included.
You can freeze the whole thing or just the base if you want to make it ahead of an event.
You need a 23 cm loose bottomed cake tin.
Gluten free Biscuit base ingredients
125g date paste.
165g milled seed blend. We like Linwoods flaxseed, sunflower and pumpkin seed although there are lots of other brands to try including Yum and Yay.
150g vegan peanut butter. Or any nut butter you fancy.
50g nuts, chopped. We used chopped hazelnuts.
1.5 tsp vanilla extract.
150-200g fruit jam or compote. We used raspberry jam.
300g fresh seasonal soft fruit. Peaches, nectarines, strawberries, raspberries and blueberries are all ideal. We used raspberries.
250g tub vegetarian cream cheese. Or substitute with a dairy free and/or vegan version.
300ml double cream. Or use coconut cream or your preferred dairy free alternative.
100g icing sugar.
How to make a no bake cheesecake base:
- Line the base of your cake tin with baking parchment.
- To make your date paste (you can use any dried fruit you like), blitz the dates in a food processor with 1 tablespoon of water. You will end up with a paste like consistency and will take approximately 2 minutes.
- Place all the other base ingredients into a mixing bowl and add in the date paste. Mix together with a wooden spoon. I find it best to mix initially this way and then roll your sleeves up and finish it off by hand. The ingredients will come together into a ball. Just ensure you don’t have any hidden clumps of nut butter.
- Press this raw base mixture into the bottom of your lined cake tin. I do this by hand – it’s very easy to squidge and doesn’t need to be perfectly billiard table flat.
Now for the cheese cake fruity layer
This couldn’t be easier. Just spread your chosen jam over the top of the base. I’ve tried using posh fruit compotes but I personally found they were too wet.
Easy peasy cheese cake topping guide
- Place 100g of your soft fruit in a bowl and gently mash up with a fork.
- Add the cream cheese, double cream and icing sugar to the fruit mash.
- Using a hand held electric whisk, mix all these ingredients for a couple of minutes until light and fluffy.
- Spoon and spread this mixture over your jammed base.
- Top with the remainder of the soft fruits & dust with spare icing sugar.
- Chill your creation in the fridge for at least and hour et voila – that’s it. A gorgeous pud in less than 15 minutes.
How to make this cheesecake nut free
Simply use a seed based butter rather than a nut one. Or use the same weight of mashed banana. Instead of the chopped nuts, swap in chopped seeds. Pumpkin are my favourite.
Top cheesecake recipe tips
- If you have the time, it really does make a difference to the flavour if you pretoast your nuts (or seeds). They can be spread on a baking tray and popped under the grill for just 4-5 minutes tops. They are very easy to burn – so keep a close eye on them.
- If using rhubarb, then we’d advise you cook this with added honey on the hob until soft and sweeten further if according to your taste.
- Tinned Clementine pieces, cherries, peaches would all work well if fresh fruit is not an option.
- Make a larger batch of fruit paste in the food processor. You can make 3 or 4 times the amount stated and store in the fridge for other recipes.
- Dried cranberries would make a wonderfully tart fruit paste and you could add some orange zest for extra Ooh la la.
Instagram friendly cheese cake decorating ideas:
- Add fresh flowers to the top of your creation. Edible and safe petals include rose, violet, primrose.
- Freeze dried pieces of fruit such as raspberry and cranberry add intense pops of colours.
- Contrasting your fruit topping with bright white dots of meringue creates great visual contrast. Try making your own vegan meringues or try these.
Comment and share what you thought of this recipe. Be sure to share this delicious recipe with a friend too. Thanks for reading!
– Emma Goss Custard
If you have any questions, do get in touch via this blog in the comments section, or via facebook, email or telephone.
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