Thursday, 24 May 2012

Summer Berry & Almond Cheesecake Tart

Vegan Summer Berry and Almond Cheesecake Tart
Fresh raspberries, blueberries and strawberries baked in an almond cheese filling in pastry. 
OMG - massive revelation guys - the almond cheese can be made sweet and makes a stunning dessert!!! This was amazing: shortcrust pastry filled with a sweet version of the almond cheese and topped with a mixture of fresh berries. So simple too: line a tin in ready rolled pastry, blitz all the cheese ingredients in the blender, pour in the case and top with fresh berries then bake. I'm really not sure it's possible to get an easier homemade vegan dessert that looks and tastes as good as this! We actually had this for dessert after the previous post of Lemon Pepper Cashew Cutlets, and damn, that was a fine meal :-)

I have been wanting to try that cheese sweet for awhile now, especially as the baked texture is very much like a baked cheesecake but figured a thick slice like cheesecake would be a bit much. Inspired by the size of the Roasted Red Pepper and Asparagus Almond Feta Flan I thought I would try this and it's perfect. Just the right amount of pastry, sweet almond filling and tart berries. Lovely. I'll be making this often, especially for guests as it looks as good as it tastes :-) I'm just gutted I didn't have any vanilla Swedish Glace ice cream when I made this as it would go beautifully with it!

My son in particular loved this, he and my husband tucked in before me as I was busy taking photos. Their reaction pretty much answered this question but I asked anyway, "well, is it bloggable?" Son: "is it bloggable, IS IT BLOGGABLE?!?! OMG mom, YES!!" (Whilst never stopping eating once.) He was just as happy with his leftover slice the next day too :-)

Summer Berry and Almond Cheesecake Tart:

150g ground almonds (about 1 1/2 cups)
50g vegan butter (3 tablespoons)
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp almond extract
1 Tbsp lemon juice
125ml water (1/2 cup)
100g golden caster sugar (1/2 cup) ...and I'm sure regular sugar would be fine.

about 200g ready rolled shortcrust pastry or homemade pastry.
Note- in the UK and Ireland Jus-Rol brand shortcrust pastry is labelled vegan.

fresh blueberries
fresh raspberries
fresh strawberries

icing sugar to dust

Preheat the oven to 180C / 350F. Melt the vegan butter in a small saucepan then place in a bowl. Add the water, lemon juice and extracts and stir. Place the ground almonds, salt and sugar in a blender then pour in the liquid ingredients. Blend until really smooth, make sure to stop once or twice to scrape down the sides with a rubber spatula to get all the ingredients incorporated.

Line a loose bottomed tin with the ready rolled pastry. My tin here is 13 x 4 x 3/4" and to be honest I've lost the metal base to it but just line it with tin foil. Like the Pepper and Asparagus tart the amount of cheese filling here is perfect for this size tin so you may need to double the filling for larger size tart pans. Just line the pan then roll a rolling pin over the top to trim. This would also make really cute mini tarts, just line a mini tart pan with the pastry, fill with the cheese and top with a berry or two and bake.

If the almond cheese has been sitting a little long just give it another little blitz to make sure it's mixed well then pour into the case and level it off. Now simply scatter with fresh berries, pressing them down slightly into the "cheese".

Vegan Summer Berry and Almond Cheesecake Tart
This combination of raspberries, blueberries and strawberries was stunning but blackberries would be lovely too!
Vegan Summer Berry and Almond Cheesecake Tart

Pop it in the oven and bake for about 40 minutes. I had to turn the tart around when there was about 15 minutes left to make sure it got evenly baked. Some top bits should start to turn golden brown and it should be firm to the touch.

Vegan Summer Berry and Almond Cheesecake Tart

You can leave it to cool in the tart or remove it after about 10 minutes to eat warm. It's good both warm and cold/room temp - we've had it both ways, I think I'm more partial to it at room temperature. To remove from the tin place a cutting board over the top and flip the whole thing over. Remove the tin then place another cutting board over top and flip the whole thing over again.

Vegan Summer Berry and Almond Cheesecake Tart

Dust the whole surface with icing sugar, slice with a serrated knife as you like - we got 6 generous servings out of this and serve. I liked it with extra fresh berries but like I mentioned above, some vegan vanilla ice cream when this tart is warm would be heaven!!

Vegan Summer Berry and Almond Cheesecake Tart

Nutritional Information: based on 1 serving out of 6

Calories: 420
Protein: 7.2g
Fat: 27.4g
Sat Fat: 5.6g
Fibre: 4g
Carbs: 36.4g
Sugar: 19.3g

American Flag Version - perfect for the 4th of July!

Vegan American Flag Almond Cheesecake and Berry Tart

For this one I've used a rectangular shaped jelly roll pan and made a cookie crust instead of the pastry base. The filling had to be increased to fit this pan then I just used blueberries and raspberries to make the flag :-)

Cookie Crust:

1¼ cups/ 150g vegan graham wafer crumbs (I used digestive biscuits here in Ireland)
2 Tbsp sugar
1/4 cup / 50g vegan butter, melted

Preheat the oven to 350F/180C and line an 11.5" x 8" jelly roll pan with baking paper - grease the sides of the pan well - mine stuck a little bit on the sides.

Mix together the crumbs, sugar and melted 'butter' and mix well, it will be crumbly. Tip it into the pan and press down firmly making sure it is nice and even. I only pressed it into the base here, I didn't want to bother trying to get it up the sides!

Place in the preheated oven and bake for 10 minutes. Remove and let fully cool.

Almond Cheese Filling:

2¼ cups / 225g ground almonds (almond meal)
75g vegan butter, melted (1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp)
1/4 + 1/8 tsp salt
3/4 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 + 1/8 tsp almond extract
1½ Tbsp fresh lemon juice
3/4 cup water
3/4 cup/150g white sugar (I used caster sugar but granulated would be fine)

Simply place everything into a blender and blend until smooth. You will have to stop and scrape down a couple of times but it should get going and be nice and smooth. Tip it all into the prepared base and spread out evenly. Place the berries on top, pressing them into the filling slightly in the design as shown. Pop in a preheated 180C/350F oven and bake for 30-40 minutes. The top should start to look golden and be firm to the touch - my oven takes 35 minutes.
Vegan American Flag Berry Tart with Almond Cheesecake
Transfer to a wire rack to cool then run a knife around the edges and lift the tart out via the overhanging paper. As above I prefer this room temperature but it's good warm and chilled as well :-)
Vegan American Flag Berry Tart with Almond Cheesecake
Happy 4th of July!!!


  1. Wow, this looks like my kind of thing- I adore anything almond and with the ground almonds and almond extract this must be double yum :) I'm going to give it a go in mini tart pans.

  2. Thanks Emma! If you like almond you should love this, it has an almost bakewell tart / marzipan thing going on :-)

  3. Seriously, I'm dying here looking at these pictures! I'll be sure to try that this summer :)

  4. Beautiful! I am thankful for every cheesecake recipe that doesn't call for tofutti.

  5. This is beautiful! Perfect dessert for a summer get together. Debbie, you are one smart jellybean, I would never have thought to make it sweet.

  6. Thanks Maggie but I have to give credit to Rose who blogs at Roses R Red for mentioning in the comments for the Baked Almond Feta if it could be made sweet... I hadn't stopped developing it in my head since!

  7. Thank you for sharing this recipe. I'm feeling blessed! Lol


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