2 cups ground almonds
Zest of 1 unwaxed lemon
A good pinch of pink salt
8 juicy medjool dates (or more as needed)
For the Filling:
3 cups cashews, soaked overnight
1 cup coconut oil
3/4 cup raw honey (or maple syrup for a vegan version)
1 tsp vanilla extract)
1 cup raspberries
Place all the crust ingredients into a good food processor and pulse them until the dates break down and the nuts and dates are combined with no large chunks. If your dates are more dry, just soak them for 10 minutes in hot water before using them. Continue to pulse until the mixture will hold its shape when you press it between your fingers.
Fill cupcake trays with 16 muffin cups (if you only have a 12 cup tray you can make them in regular cups too or ramekins or even a glass and eat right out of it.) I like THESE muffin cases at they’re cleaner than the regular ones and are compostable once we eat the cheesecakes, win win. Press about 2 tablespoons of the crust firmly down into the base of each muffin cup with your fingers. Place the muffin trays in the freezer while you make the ‘cheese’ cake layer.
Drain the soaked cashews and place them into the food processor alone and blend until they are broken down well. They probably won’t go completely smooth without the other ingredients but it helps to break them down a good amount before adding anything else. Now add the coconut oil and continue to blend, they should not go completely smooth and creamy – just keep on blending, stopping, scraping down the sides, and blending some more. (Note: Don’t leave the cashews in the fridge to soak or they will turn the coconut oil solid when you blend them together!)
Once they are smooth add in the honey and vanilla and blend those together. Finally add the frozen raspberries and pulse just enough to mix them in but not completely puree them. (Unless you want a completely even pink cheesecake, then go ahead and blend them all in. I also recommend using defrosted or fresh if this is the look that you want – I like frozen so they hold up better and you get chunks of whole raspberry swirled though.)
Finally remove the muffin trays from the freezer and spoon the creamy raspberry mixture into the cups over then crust and smooth it out. To get it completely smooth gently shake the pan from side to side and then give it a good tap on a work surface. Now they are ready to go back in the freezer to set. I recommend leaving them for at least 2 hours. If you leave them overnight to firm up, just pop them out of the freezer 15 minutes before you want to eat it so it can soften slightly.
If you want to make it and eat it right away, the filling is delicious dolloped into a bowl as a creme and simply topped with the ‘base’ crumbled over the top along with more berries. Delicious.
For a large regular cheesecake see THIS recipe for a lemon version!