I don’t know about you, but when the weather outside is warm, the last thing I want to do is turn on a hot oven. That’s why I’m such a fan of no-bake recipes. Here’s one I tried the other day, by Bryanna Clark Grogan (I’ve had success with every one of her recipes I’ve made *knock on wood*). The recipe is called a “cheesecake” but to me it tasted more lemon-y than cheese-y. It was still delicious, just the same. The pie was light and just slightly sweet– exactly the way a dessert should be on a hot, sticky day.
(CCK’s notes: I made my pie crustless because I don’t really like crust. I also used less sugar, because I misread the directions. I DID use the optional coconut extract, and I agree with Bryanna that it adds something special. Finally, I used just over a tablespoon of agar flakes.)
Bryanna’s No-Bake Cheesecake Pie
Recipe by: Bryanna Clark Grogan
You can make this “cheesecake” with your own favorite fruit topping, such as strawberry or blueberry.
NOTE: You can use either 1/2 tsp. or 3/4 tsp. of agar powder in the filling– I prefer a slightly soft filling, so I use 1/2 tsp., but if you like it firmer use the 3/4 tsp.. Don’t use any more than that, however, or it becomes rubbery.
1 9″ Graham Cracker crust
1 and 1/4 (12.3 oz.) boxes extra-firm SILKEN tofu
3/4 c. plus 2 T. water
1/3 c. light unbleached or white beet sugar
2 T. lemon juice
1 tsp. lemon extract
1/2-3/4 tsp. agar powder (or 1-1 and 1/2 T. agar flakes)
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/4 tsp. salt
OPTIONAL: 1/2 tsp. coconut extract (I think this adds a richer flavor)
Make the crust and either microwave on HIGH for 2 minutes, or bake at 350 degrees F for 5 minutes, then cool while you make the filling.
To make the filling, mix the water and agar in a small saucepan, let it sit for a few minutes, then stir constantly over high heat until it boils. Turn it down and simmer gently for 3 minutes. Add the tofu, crumbled, to the pot along with the sugar and lemon juice. Stir until the tofu is hot to the touch (this is important so that the agar does not gel too quickly). Pour this into the blender or food processor with the extracts and salt and blend until VERY smooth, stopping and scraping the mixture down a couple of times. Pour the mixture into the prepared pie pan and smooth the top. Refrigerate until firm and cold, at least 2 hours.
Spread the fruit topping evenly over the top before serving. Cut into 8 wedges.