Cherry Cheesecake

Cheesecake is my favourite dessert.  The smooth, creamy cake with a thin graham wafer crust and just the right of amount of crunch in the base – how can you not love it?  When I first went vegan I thought my cheesecake days were behind me, but thanks to Sweets From the Earth and my first ever vegan cook book, 1000 Vegan Recipes I was able to continue my romance with cheesecake.  And here I am eleven years later, finally sharing my own recipe, having honed my cheesecake skills to the level I feel comfortable tackling this most beloved of desserts


For the cheesecake:
2 x 227g containers of plain cream cheese (I used Tofutti cream cheese)
1 1/2 cups of wafer crumbs.  (I have always had trouble finding graham crackers/crumbs that don’t have honey in them, so I usually use animal crackers, which are accidentally vegan – certain brands may not be so check the ingredients first – and crush them into a crumb using a food processor.
1/2 cup of vegan margarine, melted
1 tbsp of vanilla
1/2 cup of sugar
1 tbsp of corn starch

For the cherry topping:
2 cups of pitted cherries (I used frozen ones)
3 cinnamon sticks
1 tsp of vanilla
2 tbsp of lemon juice
2 tbsp of maple syrup
4 tbsp of corn starch
1/2 cup of water

For the cheesecake
1.  Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees
2.  Melt 1/2 cup of margarine over low heat.
3.  Put the 1 1/2 cups of wafer crumbs in an 8-inch spring form pan.  Add the melted margarine and use a fork to mix it into the crumbs. Spread out the mixture to cover the bottom of the pan.
4.  In a blender or food processor, add 2 containers of cream cheese, 1 tbsp of vanilla, 1/2 cup of sugar and 1 tbsp of corn starch. Pulse until smooth.
5.  Pour the cream cheese mixture onto the wafer crumb base and even it out.  Bake for 30 minutes.
6.  Set aside in the fridge to chill.

For the cherry topping
1.  Fill a sauce pan with 1/2 cup of water.
2.  Add the 2 cups of cherries, the 3 cinnamon sticks, 1 tsp of vanilla, 2 tbsp of lemon juice, 2 tbsp of maple syrup, and 4 tbsp of corn starch.
3.  Cook on medium heat for about 20 minutes until the fruit starts to break down.
4.  Remove from heat and remove the cinnamon sticks. Transfer to separate bowl and set in fridge too chill.
5.  Once the cherry topping has chilled, layer it out on top of the cheesecake.  Slice and enjoy!




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