Anther great recipe from The Paleo Mom…
One of my husband’s favorite desserts before our paleo journey began was cheesecake. I rarely made it at home (and if I did, it was the standard graham cracker crust with lemon cheese cake filling following the directions on the cream cheese box), but it was guaranteed what he ordered every time we ate in a restaurant. I think he was (is?) something of a cheesecake connoisseur, always preferring the denser custard-like cheesecakes to the more ethereal whipped topping style, and typically preferring a simply-flavored custard which could then be paired with fresh fruit or fruit coulis. I freely admit that while my husband always ordered cheesecake (and I always had a bite), I was more reliably a “whatever on the dessert menu has lots of chocolate in it” kind of gal.
Well, when it came time to celebrate some good news for him, it seemed like as good excuse as any to try a re-creation of this old favorite. And I think being able to enjoy lemon cheesecake with fresh blueberries for dessert that night might have even topped the good news we were celebrating!
It seems strange to me to make cheesecake without, well, cheese. And certainly, if you follow a primal diet or lacto-paleo diet, making a cheesecake that fits within your diet is actually pretty easy (the trickiest part is the crust, but there’s tons of recipes out there for different options). But, both my youngest daughter and I are very sensitive to casein, and while I more often than not make desserts that I can’t eat but my family can, I wasn’t about to create something that my youngest daughter would have to miss out on too. So, voila! A paleo-friendly, grain-free, dairy-free “cheese” cake. Oh yeah, and it’s delicious!
Gelatin gives the filling a lovely heft, and it holds up well even left out of the fridge. The filling is not particularly sweet (which I love!), but you could easily adjust the sweetness by adding an extra tablespoon or two of honey. The combination of cashews and lemon juice replicate the cream cheesiness well (and the flavor is even better if you use coconut milk yogurt or kefir [homemade orstore-bought] in place of plain coconut milk). I don’t think any other nut works quite the same.
For the crust, I modified my recipe for Paleo Graham Crackers. The use of chestnut flour gave it a bit more density and let it hold together even as a thin crust beautifully. If you’d rather stick with the more stereotypical almond flour and coconut flour as ingredients and have a softer, crumblier crust, you can make a half batch of Graham Cracker dough, mold it into your shallow pie dish and bake as per the instructions below. You could also easily make this in a spring form pan with crust just on the bottom (I’d suggest doubling the filling).