This gluten free, dairy free and vegan lemon cheesecake is (like all my recipes) so simple to make. No one will realise it's free from any ingredients at all. This delicious cheesecake can be whipped up for surprise guests or made at your leisure for teatime or dessert.
Making the biscuit base could not be simpler. Crush the biscuits (this works out around two packets of gluten free biscuits) or blitz them in a food processor.
Melt the 'butter' in the microwave for 30 seconds and then pour into the biscuit crumbs and mix or blitz again to combine.
Pour the buttery biscuit crumbs into a 20cm loose bottom round cake tin. I use a circle to baking parchment to line the tin to prevent the biscuit base from sticking.
Using the bake of a metal spoon press down the biscuit crumbs and smooth flat until you have a solid biscuit base - possibly the most satisfying thing to do ever!
Pop the tin into the fridge to help the butter to harden and crack on with the cheesecake topping.
Pop the measured solid white vegetable fat into the microwave for 30 seconds to soften, it probably won't melt to a liquid, don't worry, you just need to soften it.
In a large bowl or food mixer add the 'cream cheese' and softened white vegetable fat and beat for a minute or until you see no fatty lumps in the mixture.
Add the vegan condensed milk, cream and vanilla paste and whip with a whisk, hand whisk or food mixer for at least 3 minutes. You want the mixture to thicken so that the whisk trail stays and you have firm peaks.
You can now add the zest of one lemon and the juice of half a lemon (keep the juice from the other half back for the decoration)
NOTE: this will make you cheesecake seem a bit looser than normal, don't worry, the lemon juice helps to 'curdle' the cream and cream cheese so it will thicken in the fridge.
Now you can add your icing sugar to taste. 5 tablespoons should be plenty so maybe add 1 tablespoon at a time and test until you have the desired sweetness.
Remove the cake tin from the fridge and pour the mixture into the tin smoothing flat with a silicone spatula.
Pop back into the fridge for at least 60 mins or until you wish to serve it. This cheesecake will keep for 2-3 days no problem if kept in a sealed container in the fridge (to prevent soaking up fridge smells).
Pour the other half lemon juice into a non-stick saucepan, add the 50g sugar.
Slice the second lemon as thinly as possible and add the slices to the saucepan.
Gently heat the lemon juice and sugar until it melts and thickens. You're aiming for a thick sugar syrup. This should take about 10mins on a medium heat. Take care not to leave un attended and stir occasionally to prevent burning.
Carefully remove the lemon slices with a fork or tongs and place on a silicone baking sheet or greaseproof paper and leave to cool completely. Once cooled you can leave whole or cut into halves and decorate your cheesecake.
Top tip when making your own vegan condensed milk is to use a tin that has 50%+ coconut extract in it. The tins I use are from Aldi and Sainsbury's here in the UK (own brands). They have 75% coconut extract in them, making them fatty enough to thicken, and achieve that tell-tale condensed milk consistency.
Dairy Free and Vegan Condensed Milk Recipe
Empty a 400ml tin of coconut milk into a medium saucepan, add 150g caster sugar and stir to combine. Place on a high heat and stir until bubbling. Turn heat down to a gentle rolling boil and leave for 15 minutes. Don’t leave unattended and stir occasionally, the condensed milk will halve in volume and go a wallpaper paste colour! Remove from the heat, pour into a glass heatproof jug and cool to room temperature, this will take about an hour.