Saturday, March 3, 2012

Pretty Good Cheesecake

I have a recipe for a "cheese pie" that is rather a cheesecake wanna-be, but it's so good everyone always asks for the recipe. That's how I got it in the first place: went to a potluck and ate this pie with such relish I went back for another slice.

This wanna-be doesn't bake in a spring form pan but in a simple pie dish. It doesn't look particularly fancy sitting on the dessert table and if there is a good selection of pastries, this unobtrusive offering may even be overlooked. At least until someone spills the beans and asks everyone if they've tasted that cheesecake stuff.

This pie doesn't stand four inches high; it isn't covered with fancy decorations. It will never take center place on the table nor will it entice everyone who passes by to give it a try. Personally, I don't mind. If nobody finds out how good it is, I'll take it home and have it all to myself.

Being vegan, I've had to find a way to make this pie so I could still enjoy that luscious cheesecake flavor without having to worry about ending up sick and back in the hospital because I veered off the eating program my doctor put me on in order to keep an intestinal disease calm and quiet. I finally came up with an offering that suits my palette. Perhaps it will suit yours too.

My suggestion is to let the other potluckers eat the calorie-laden, sugar infused, butter heavy desserts and take yourself off to a corner and smile the whole time you eat a huge slice of this tasty offering. Better yet, stay home and have it all to yourself.


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees 

Into a blender or food processor put:

12 oz. silken tofu, extra soft
8 oz. vegan cream cheese, softened
2/3 cup sugar
3/4 tsp. vanilla
2 Tbs. cornstarch

Blend until the ingredients are smooth and silken. Pour into a baked graham cracker crust and smooth to distribute the ingredients evenly. Bake for 40-45 minutes. When the pie comes out of the oven, top with the following ingredients that have been well mixed and then bake for 5 more minutes.

1/2 pint vegan sour cream
2 Tbs. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla

Let the pie cool completely before serving. Chilling overnight in the refrigerator is the best, but chill it for at least 4 hours if you want the best flavor and consistency.

Right before serving, I topped mine with a can of Comstock cherry pie filling because it was what I had it in my pantry. You can top your pie with berries or nuts or chocolate or anything else you can dream up.

Graham cracker crust:

1 1/4 cup graham cracker crumbs
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
4 oz. vegan margarine, melted

Blend the dry ingredients with the melted margarine. Press firmly into a pie place. Bake at 350 for 5 minutes. Cool.

You'd be surprised at what a determined
vegan can do to alter a favorite recipe
so that it's still pretty doggone good.

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