Berries and Cream Cheesecake Slices

Berries and cream cheesecake slices

This is the perfect summer dessert for warm weather! Refreshing dairy-free lemony cheesecake topped with a berry compote of your choosing- I went with blackberry and huckleberry, but recently made a raspberry, cherry and strawberry version that was equally as delicious!

I ended up making this dessert a 3 part process, but feel free to simplify if you want- you could do a raw crust version with dates and nuts, or choose fresh fruit for the topping rather than cooking it.

INGREDIENTS:

For the shortbread crust:

1/4 cup butter
1 cup almond flour
1/2 cup oat flour
1/8 cup coconut sugar
1/4 tsp sea salt

For the cream filling:

2 cups raw cashews, soaked for at least 4 hours
1/2 cup coconut cream (try to use just cream on top. Every brand of coconut milk is different so you may have to add a little of the liquid to help it blend better).
1/3 cup coconut oil, melted
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 TBS lemon zest, loosely packed
2 TBS lemon juice
1 tsp vanilla

For the berry topping:

2 1/2 cups berries of choice, fresh or frozen
1/8 cup water
1/8 cup sweetener of choice (I used unrefined cane sugar)
1 TBS arrowroot powder OR organic cornstarch

INSTRUCTIONS:

Preheat oven to 350.

Combine all crust ingredients in the food processor and blend until it begins to stick together. Using your fingers, press crumbles into the bottom of an 8×8 glass baking dish and bake for 15 minutes until golden brown. Set aside to cool.

Place all of the cream filling ingredients in a high speed blender (I have found a Vitamix works best) and blend on high for 30 seconds. Scrape down the sides and blend again until it is smooth and creamy. As I noted above, you may have to add a little of the liquid from the coconut milk to help it blend easily. The idea is to use as little liquid as possible to ensure it sets up in the fridge, so be careful not to overdo it! Pour cream mixture over the cooled crust and place in the freezer to harden up for about 30 minutes, then transfer to the fridge.

In a medium saucepan, combine the berries and water and cook on low heat until they begin to break down and get juicy. It helps to use a potato masher to really smash them down. Combine sugar and arrowroot together and add to the berries, cooking for an additional five minutes until the berries begin to thicken up. Set aside to cool.

Remove cheesecake from the freezer, slice into 2-inch squares, and top with berry compote as you serve. The cheesecake will be a softer consistency if kept in the fridge, so store any leftovers in the freezer if you like a firmer bar, and keep the berry topping separate.

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