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Monday, December 15, 2014

Apple Pie Cheesecake for One

This little pie will make you happy. It’s just the right blend of sweet and tart, crunchy and creamy, and, because apples are available for most of the year, you can make it any time! Yay!

For the Crust:
½ cup whole pecans
2 teaspoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon superfine flour (like coconut, tapioca, brown rice, chickpea—your choice)
1 TBLSP vegan butter, melted

For the Filling:
1 teaspoon almond milk (or other non-dairy milk of your choosing)
1 ½ teaspoons lemon juice
3 ounces extra firm tofu
A slosh of vanilla extract
4 teaspoons brown sugar
2 shakes of ground cinnamon
1 shake of ground cloves
1 TBLSP superfine flour (coconut, tapioca, brown rice, chickpea—your choice)

For the Topping:
½ medium-sized grannysmith apple
1 teaspoon vegan butter, cut into small bits
4 TBLSP packed brown sugar
2 teaspoons corn starch mixed with 2 teaspoons very cold water

To Make the Crust:
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  1. In a blender or food processor, grind up the pecans, sugars, and flour until it’s a rough crumb.  
  2. Stir in the melted faux butter with a fork until it’s well mixed. I just put a small bowl with the faux butter into the microwave and then dump the crumby mixture out of the food processor into it.
  3. Press this lovely crumb into a small pan or ramekin until the crust is about ¼-inch thick. It should climb up the sides, too. I use a single-serving quiche pan that’s about 4-inches across.
  4. Bake for 10-13 minutes.

To Make the Filling:
Turn the oven down to 325 degrees Fahrenheit and leave it on.
  1. Place almond milk, lemon juice, tofu, vanilla, brown sugar, cinnamon, cloves, and flour in a small bowl, and stir until roughly combined.
  2. Transfer to food processor and whirl away at it until it’s very smooth. No lumps!
  3. Spread the filling into the baked crust, smoothing the top. It should be a little mounded, as it will fall slightly during the cooling process.
  4. Bake for 50 minutes. It will be slightly firm to the touch and golden brown.
  5. Turn off the oven, but leave the pie in there for an hour.
  6. Let cool on a wire rack until room temperature, and then let it languish in the refrigerator for a few hours before making the topping.

To Make the Topping:
  1. Slice the apple thinly, peels on.
  2. Toss the apple slices with the faux butter into a small sauté pan. Cook over medium heat until the apples are soft and there’s a lot of liquid in the pan.
  3. Add brown sugar, and let it cook over medium heat until it bubbles.
  4. Add in the corn starch and water, stirring constantly until thickened.
  5. Let it cool slightly before applying to your cheesecake.

Final Assembly:
  1. Top the cheesecake with the topping and refrigerate for a few more hours, or overnight, until it’s all firm.
  2. Devour with the ravenous longing you’ve been suffering since you began making this recipe.

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