I almost forgot it was Easter this weekend! Anyone else?
Living, working and parenting in my home 24/7 under the new realities of COVID-19 has made my brain go mushy. Every morning it feels like I’m living the same day over and over again. Kinda like that classic 1993 movie Groundhog Day. I hope that doesn’t date me!
Good thing there’s Easter and cheesecake … lemon almond tofu cheesecake to be exact!
Easter is a very meaningful holiday for our family. Going to church is a key part of this, as well as family dinners on both sides of our family, dyeing Easter eggs with a special great auntie and going on an egg hunt at my parent’s farm.
This year, under social distancing, it is going to look different. Extremely different.
I’m trying to see “different” as a good thing and not as a negative thing. My mushy brain is quick to move to “this stinks” mode instead of seeing the good fruits that a slower holiday can offer. This mindset shift is an important one for me that I continue to work on.
One thing is for sure, less people at the Easter table means more cheesecake leftovers!
I don’t often make cheesecake. I’m not sure why because it’s quite delicious! I’m pretty sure it’s because I see it as being a time-consuming process. The whole escapade of baking a cheesecake in a water bath is too much for me to handle!
So, when I got the idea for this cheesecake, I told myself that it had to be simple to assemble and bake or else I (and the rest of you) wouldn’t be interested. There’s enough stress right now that the last thing you need to worry about is whether you cheesecake has a crack in it!
This recipe take simple to a new level. It’s almost laughably simple!
The crust is a humble combination of 4 ingredients – raw almonds, oats, sugar, and coconut oil. Pulse together in the food processor and you’re done.
The leading actor in the filling is silken tofu, followed by cream cheese and Greek yogurt who have supporting roles. Don’t forget the musicians – lemon juice and zest, and almond extract – who, without them, there would be no show! Throw these into your food processor, along with a few other items, and voila! You’ve got an Oscar nominee!
Word to the wise on the flavouring: Use fresh, not fake lemon juice, the latter which tends to be much stronger and acidic.
This lemon almond tofu cheesecake is a great way to introduce tofu to your family members. The filling is creamy and smooth as silk. Tofu is also a great source of protein and calcium (if the tofu has been set in calcium – just check the nutrition label) and not nearly as heavy as a traditional cheesecake.
Don’t be afraid to experiment with the topping. I topped this one with whipped cream and Martha Stewart’s candied lemon rinds but I think it would also taste amazing if you topped it with a blueberry sauce or raspberry chia jam with some candied slivered almonds! The options are endless!
If you give this recipe a shot this weekend, don’t forget to take a picture and follow and tag me on Instagram here so I can see your creation!
Here’s to hoping that the sun comes out a bit more on Easter weekend than it has the past few days … I had to wait a long time until the sun peeked out from behind the clouds to get these shots in my photography studio (aka living room)! Ha!
Preheat oven to 350 F and line a 9-inch springform pan with parchment paper. Set aside.
Add the almonds, oats, sugar, and salt to the bowl of a food processor (or blender) and pulse/mix until is resembles a crumb consistency.
Remove the lid and add the melted coconut oil, starting with 1/4 cup. After blended together, stop and pinch some of the crust mixture between your fingers. If it doesn’t form a dough when you pinch it, add an additional 1-2 Tbsp of melted coconut oil until it achieves a dough-like consistency.
Pour the crust mixture into your lined springform pan and spread evenly, pressing down firmly until it is well packed.
Bake for 20-30 minutes until the edges are golden brown and there is some browning on the surface. Remove from oven to cool slightly, then reduce oven heat to 325 F.
To assemble the filling, add the tofu, sugar, cream cheese, Greek yogurt, salt, lemon juice, lemon zest, almond extract, cornstarch, and milk to the bowl of your cleaned food processor or blender. Blend until smooth.
Pour the filling over the cooled crust
Bake for 50-60 minutes or until the top of the cheesecake is lightly browned and the middle has cooked through. You can insert a toothpick to see that it comes out clean.
Top cheesecake with your toppings of choice and serve!
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