Last week we announced the Worldwide Vegan Bake Sale along with their best-selling Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe to help get you in the baking mood. Of course, a bake sale with only one product might seem a bit limiting, so throughout the next couple of months, we will feature a few more bake sale-worthy recipes. Including this one for dairy-free, egg-free (and of course vegan) Lemon Mini-Cheesecakes.
The original recipe (and mini-photo at left) is actually for a full-size “cheesecake” and it comes from The Joy of Vegan Baking by Colleen Patrick-Goudreau. However, to make it bake sale-friendly, Gary (one of the founders of the Worldwide Vegan Bake Sale event) has converted the recipe to make a dozen personal-size “cheesecakes.” Gary says, “This is another great seller at bake sales. Customers often cannot believe that a) they’re eating a vegan cheesecake, b) that it is so delicious.”
- 4-1/2 teaspoons (20g) Ener-G egg replacer (equivalent of 3 eggs)
- 6 tablespoons (90 ml) water
- 24 ounces (690 g) nondairy cream cheese, at room temperature
- 1 cup (200 g) granulated sugar
- ½ teaspoon vanilla
- 2 tablespoons (30 ml) lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon (5 g) lemon zest
- 12-15 Keebler mini graham cracker pie crusts (which are conveniently vegan). The actual name of the product is “Ready Crust – Graham.”
- Fresh raspberries, blueberries, or sliced strawberries for topping
- Preheat oven to 350.
- In a food processor or using an electric mixer and a large bowl (which is what I use), whip the egg replacer and water together until it’s thick and creamy. Beat in the cream cheese until creamy, about 30 seconds. Beat in the sugar, vanilla, lemon juice, and lemon zest.
- Place the mini-crusts on one or more shallow baking pans. (Don’t remove the crusts from their foil wrappers.) Using a large spoon, pour batter into mini-crusts. I fill it so the top of the batter is higher than the top of the crust, but not so much that the batter is practically flowing over the sides. Use the back of the spoon to smooth out the top a little.
- Bake the cheesecake for about 18 minutes, or until the center of the mini-cheesecakes barely jiggle when the pan is tapped or when an individual pie is tapped. Cooking times may vary according to oven. You may want to check after 15 minutes (as I do).
- Remove from oven. After a few minutes, transfer the mini-pies to a cooling rack. In the middle of each cheesecake, gently depress a piece of fruit until you feel it is held in securely. A rule of thumb would be that two-thirds of the fruit is showing.
- Let the mini-cheesecakes cool completely (45-60 minutes). Chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours.
- I sometimes use a little extra lemon zest. I like the freshness, but this may not be to everyone’s liking
- Experiment with other fruit garnishes. I may try kiwi slices next time.