You know I love all things lemon. The fact that these are kept in the freezer is a big bonus, especially in the summer. Why? Because it means that if you make these specifically for you—and you alone—then you can have your own private dessert every night for almost two weeks.
They are also easy to make, but just take some forethought and simple preparation. You need to soak your raw cashews and toss your can of coconut milk in the freezer 5 hours before you decide to make these. And you need to freeze them for at least 2 hours after you prepare them so that the cheesecake filling can "set". On the flip side, they literally take 20 minutes to make.
These don't gel like a traditional cheesecake and as I mentioned above, they need to be kept in the freezer. For that reason alone, they are best prepared for you own private dessert or to share when you have friends over. They would be tricky to take to a picnic or to bring to a dinner party.
Let's get started on the crust. In your food processor, process your raw almonds. Then add your pitted dates and gluten-free oats and processes again. Pour in the coconut oil at the end and give it one more whirl.
Take your handy levered ice cream scooper and fill a paper lined, 12 muffin tin pan with the crust mixture. Use the bottom of a 1/4 cup measuring cup to press the crust down firmly. Set this aside.
Before we move on to the filling, let's get the lemons ready. Always wash your lemons first before zesting with a microplaner. Half of the zest is going to be mixed into the filling and the other half used to garnish the tops. Using a hand held juicer, squeeze the juice out of both lemons. You will get way more juice if you use a juicer than you ever will by squeezing with your hands.
Now onto the filling. Clean your food processor and strain, rinse and drain your soaked cashews. Process them for a good minute or so until they are nice and creamy. Take your can of coconut milk out of the freezer and spoon out the top 3/4 of the can, which should just be the coconut cream part (leaving the watery bottom and discarding).
Add the rest of the ingredients (reserving half of the lemon zest) and process for two minutes until you achieve a nice smooth, creamy consistency. It should resemble a traditional custard that has not "set" yet.
Using your clean levered ice cream scooper, fill each muffin tin on top of the crust. You should end up filling each almost to the top of the paper.
Sprinkle with the rest of your lemon zest and place your pan in the freezer for at least 2 hours to harden.
Two hours later and they are ready to go. I pull mine out about 15 to 20 minutes before I am ready to serve or eat them so that they can thaw just a little. Let them sit for 5 minutes and then remove them from the pan. You might need to use a butter knife to wedge them out a little. I peel the paper off now and let them finish thawing without their liner, but you might prefer to keep them wrapped.
Whether they are all for you—or to share with family and friends—these are a refreshing dessert during those hot summer months. Keep them in the freezer for when you need a clean and light dessert. They are vegan, gluten-free, raw, and best of all, they are refined sugar-free. So if you are on the Clean 66 Plan, these are a definite YES for a little after dinner snack.
Time: 20 minutes to make (5 hours soaking, 2 hours freezing)
3/4 c. raw almonds
1 c. pitted dates
1/2 c. gluten-free oats
2 tbsp. responsibly sourced coconut oil, melted
1 1/2 c. raw cashews, soaked for 5 hours
1 can full fat coconut milk, frozen for 5 hours
1/4 c. pure maple syrup
Zest from 2 lemons, divided
Juice from 2 lemons
Line all twelve muffin tins with paper muffin liners. Set aside.
In a food processor, process the raw almonds until a course meal forms, about 20 seconds. Add the pitted dates and oats and process another 20 seconds or so until combined. Add the coconut oil and process another15 seconds.
Using your ice cream scooper, scoop out the crust into each tin evenly. Using the bottom of a 1/4 or 1/8 c. measuring cup, firmly press down the crust. Set aside.
After cleaning your food processor, drain and rinse your soaked raw cashews. Process them for a full minute until a creamy texture forms. Taking a spoon, scoop off the frozen cream from your frozen can of coconut milk while leaving the 1/4 can of water at the bottom (this is not used in this recipe). Add the maple syrup, lemon juice, and half of the lemon zest. Process for a good 2 minutes or more to form a thick but creamy consistency. It will be a little lumpy due to the cashew, but for the most part this should have the texture of a custard that has not “set” yet.
Using your clean ice cream scooper, scoop out the filling on top of the crust in the tins. You should end up filling each to the top of the paper muffin liner. Sprinkle the top of each with the remaining lemon zest.
Place the muffin pan in the freezer for at least 2 hours to set. Let warm up for about 5 minutes and then pull them out of the muffin tins—you might need to wedge them out with a butter knife. I like to take the paper off at this point and discard. They will probably need to sit an additional 10 minutes to thaw more. These are best eaten cold and still semi frozen. If you are making these for you—and you alone—to eat, set all twelve on a large plate and put back in the freezer for another hour to harden more. Then store in a plastic container with a lid and use wax paper between layers. They are ready to pull out of the freezer 15 minutes before you are ready to eat!