We are raining apples and pears in Blockley right now. So many gorgeous varieties to choose from in lots of orchards all over our village. So we decided to make the most of such a glut by making some mouth watering desserts, including this gorgeous cheesecake topped with caramelised apples, pears, figs and fresh blueberries! We used a combination of tart and sweet apples for this and found it worked very well. The lovely figs add so much natural sweetness anyway and go so well with apples.
The cinnamon baked apples and pears (with figs thrown in as well for good measure) are a stand alone knock out dish on their own- and would be superb with vegan ice-cream, yoghurt and with porridge or bircher muesli. The smells that wafted from the oven were already getting us excited and in the mood for Christmas.
The cheesecake itself is pretty simple to make and comes together quickly and easily. It just requires a bit of baking then chilling of the pie crust and then freezing the filling ahead of topping it with the gorgeous caramelised fruit.
We cannot recommend the baked apples and pears enough- they really hit the spot and the creamy sweet and sour flavour of the cheesecake filling compliments them so well. We adapted this recipe from Minimalist Baker who does so many wonderful American style dishes, most of which are vegan.
Cheesecake Crust Ingredients:
120g rolled oats
200g raw almonds 1/2 tsp sea salt 2 tbsp coconut sugar 1 tbsp maple syrup 1 tsp Lucuma powder (optional) 4 tbsp coconut oil, melted
For the filling:
180g coconut yoghurt 150g cashews, soaked for 4 hours then drained
2 Tbsp maple syrup 4 Tbsp lemon juice (we used 2 lemons)
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp melted coconut oil
Pinch of sea salt
Prepare crust by preheating oven to 180 (fan) and adding oats, almonds, sea salt, coconut sugar and maple syrup to a blender or food processor. Pulse into a fine meal. Then add coconut oil and and pulse until a crust dough forms that holds together when you squeeze it between your fingers. If it appears too dry, add more melted coconut oil- just a little at a time.
Line a 9 inch tart tin with a removable base with baking parchment. Then add the crust mixture to the pan and use your hands to spread it into an even layer, pushing the crust up to the edges of the pan so it contains the filling well.
Bake for 15 minutes. Then increase heat to 190 C and bake for 5 minutes more or until the edges are golden brown and there is some browning on the surface. Remove from oven to cool for 5 minutes. Then carefully transfer to the freezer to chill.
Make filling by adding coconut yogurt, soaked and drained cashews, maple syrup, lemon juice, melted coconut oil, vanilla, and sea salt. Blend on high until creamy and smooth. Then taste and adjust flavours as needed, adding more lemon for acidity, maple syrup for sweetness, or vanilla for intense vanilla flavour. (We always end up adding a bit more lemon as we love the sour flavour of a cheesecake to cut through the sweetness of the rest of the recipe including the bakes fruits.)
Remove cooled crust from the freezer and pour the filling onto it. Gently tap a few times to release any air bubbles. Then set back in the freezer and freeze until firm to the touch – about 2-3 hours. While it's freezing you can make the baked fruit topping!
To serve, make sure the tart has set out for at least 1 hour from the freezer so the filling is more the consistency of cheesecake. Store leftovers covered in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
For the cinnamon baked caramelised apples, pears and figs:
3 large seasonal apples, peeled, cored and thinly sliced
3 tbsp apple juice or water 2 tbsp cornflour (for thickening)
1 pinch of sea salt
Preheat oven to 180 (fan) and set out a 9×13-inch (or similar size) baking dish.
Peel and core apples and pears, quarter, and use a paring knife to thinly slice lengthwise.
Add to baking dish and top with lemon juice, coconut oil, coconut sugar, all the spices, cornflour (or arrowroot), apple juice (or water), and a healthy pinch of salt.
Toss to combine. Then loosely cover with foil.
Bake for 45 minutes (covered). Then carefully remove foil and bake for an additional 10-15 minutes or until the apples are very fork tender and slightly caramelised.
The quantity here will be more than enough to top the cheesecake with so you can use the surplus on lots of other sweet treats as listed above- yoghurt, porridge or just on it's own it's so delicious and the perfect way to usher in Autumn and the colder days and evenings.
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