the taste space

Meyer Lemon Cheesecake Squares

Posted in Desserts by janet @ the taste space on March 29, 2013

Meyer Lemon Cheesecake Squares

Happy long Easter weekend!

While I will be partaking in zero Easterly activities this weekend, I will be postponing them to next weekend. I think it is very mean to have an exam a few days after Easter, no?

Last week, I came home with 15 lemons. Actually, that is not unusual for me. What was unusual was that they were not just any lemons: they were Meyer lemons. These lemons are more sweet, less tart than regular lemons. So much so that I could easily eat a raw Meyer lemon. Just don’t ask me how I know… Last year, I tracked them down at Whole Foods but didn’t search them out this year. I thought I had missed their season.  But there they were at my local ethnic grocer. :) The lemons were a bit on the tiny side but considering all 15 were for $2, this was an amazing bargain. Even if I had no plans for the lemons… yet.

Undeterred by my recent dessert flops experiments (more on that in a later post), I decided to work with Katie’s recipe for Lemon Squares.  I’ve had a baked tofu cheesecake on my recipe to-do list for a while. However, I usually get distracted by other dessert options.

Instead of flour, I used ground almonds. I also made my own powdered sugar by grinding coconut sugar in my Vitamix (how cool was that!). Since I was using Meyer lemons, I tasted as I went along. Not as much sweetener was needed.

Meyer Lemon Cheesecake Squares

I increased the filling, with all intentions of baking it in a small casserole dish but at the last minute, plopped it into a large springform pan. I figured it would be easier to remove unscathed. Turns out the joke was on me, because the larger surface area meant these were very short. Not what I was aiming for.. I also didn’t add any yellowing ingredients like turmeric, so they weren’t the characteristic fluorescent yellow of lemon squares. And I also cut them like pie slices, not squares… In retrospect, it was destiny.

After I baked them, they still needed to be chilled overnight and then I tasted them…. duh duh duh… I made a Meyer lemon tofu cheesecake!

It looks rather pitiful, but I can assure you it tasted great. Not a true cheesecake, but more cheesecake than lemon square, me thinks. Very lemony, to my liking, although it was balanced by the sweetness of the crust. It was kind of fun to have a lot of crust for a little amount of filling, although next time, I would certainly double the filling, or use a smaller contraption to bake it (I kind of like Amber’s method here of lining it with parchment paper and then slipping the whole thing out afterwards).

Have any fun plans for the weekend?

 Meyer Lemon Cheesecake Squares

This is my submission to this month’s Bookmarked Recipes, to this month’s Healthy Me & Healthy Us event and to Easy Easter Baking .

Meyer Lemon Cheesecake Squares
Adapted from Chocolate Covered Katie

1 cup almond flour
1/3 cup powdered coconut sugar
1/4 tsp salt
2 tbsp plus 2 tsp coconut oil (40g) – I would decrease this next time to 2 tbsp or so

zest from Meyer lemons
1/4 cup + 1/3 cup Meyer lemon juice
350g MoriNu silken-extra-firm tofu
2 tbsp powdered coconut sugar or to taste (I used Meyer lemons which are not as sweet)
2.5 tsp arrowroot or cornstarch
optional: a few drops yellow food coloring or tiny pinch turmeric, only if desired for color (did not do which is why mine are not yellow)

1. Preheat oven to 350F. Grease a springform pan (mine was 9″ but I would go smaller).

2. If you need to make powdered sugar, place in a blender and process until finely ground.

3. In a small bowl, combine ground almonds, powdered sugar, salt and coconut oil. Push into the greased pan. Bake for 10 minutes.

4. Meanwhile, prepare your filling. In a blender, combine lemon zest and juice, tofu, powdered sugar and arrowroot flour. Add colouring agent if desired. Blend until smooth. Add additional sweetener if required.

5. Once crust is finished, pour filling overtop and bake another 26 minutes (if you use a smaller pan, it will take longer, so watch that it doesn’t burn). I added a container filled with water to make the oven moist (some said the filling had cracked on them).

6. Remove from oven and let cool 10 minutes. Allow to cool at least another 2 hours uncovered in your refrigerator.

Serves 8 as a light dessert.

 

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20 Responses

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  1. Colette said, on March 29, 2013 at 7:37 AM

    You’re gonna rock those exams, Janet.
    This cheesecake is great brain-food! :)

  2. Ellen Lederman said, on March 29, 2013 at 9:30 AM

    Best of luck on the exams!

    No Easter activities for us. On Saturday hosting an Ethiopian dinner for my veggie MU group. Making “neatballs”, brussel sprouts, sweet potatoes for Sunday dinner.

    • janet @ the taste space said, on March 30, 2013 at 11:57 AM

      Thanks Ellen. Ethiopian dinner sounds delicious and better than typical Easter plans, if you ask me. Last year, I went Indian for our (meatless) Good Friday meal, hahaha. :)

  3. sprint2thetable said, on March 29, 2013 at 11:15 AM

    I want to go find some Myer lemons now! I read about making powdered sugar in the Vitamix long ago and still haven’t tried it, and I have tofu in the fridge. Must do this!!!

    Good luck on exams! On Easter weekend I’m going to dinner with my (athiest) best friend. Ha.

    • janet @ the taste space said, on March 30, 2013 at 11:58 AM

      Thanks Laura. Rob picked up another set of lemons so we have plenty more now! I’d love to see your spin on this. Whenever I use tofu, I think of you and its protein. :)

  4. Hannah said, on March 29, 2013 at 7:16 PM

    Yes yes! Lemon desserts are quite possibly my favourite kind (or second to chestnut, but I almost never see chestnut desserts, and actually lemon, truly tart lemon desserts, still probably win.)

    Why is it that we need fake colours to make us think it’s the real flavour? Bah, humbug. ;)

    • janet @ the taste space said, on March 30, 2013 at 11:59 AM

      Chestnuts? Yeah, I don’t think I have tried chest desserts before. I’ve tried the roasted chestnuts from the Asian stores and I like those.. so it may very well work. I actually kind of feel bad I never tried the freshly roasted chestnuts when I went to Turkey. They were everywhere and I thought they were a tourist trap… well, now I still don’t know what they taste like. :P

  5. Joanne said, on March 29, 2013 at 7:47 PM

    I’ve made tofu cheesecake before and it was actually SUPER good! Even the non-vegans in the room LOVED it. (or could even tell the difference). I love that you added meyer lemons into there! So good.

  6. Johanna GGG said, on March 29, 2013 at 8:53 PM

    you make me a little sad that my meyer lemon tree is not producing much right now but hopefully it will recover!

    love the cheesecake – I have been making some vegan cheesecake this weekend and still find it a challenge but the experience is good (and it makes a great vegan dessert pizza! topping)

    • janet @ the taste space said, on March 30, 2013 at 12:01 PM

      No, Johanna, you win because you HAVE a lemon tree. Does it grow outdoors? I had a friend that was growing one indoors from a seed from a lemon. I put that on my list of things to do but have yet to try it. ;)

  7. Kari @ bite-sized thoughts said, on March 30, 2013 at 1:35 AM

    I love lemon desserts and this sort of cheesecake would go down with me far better than traditional cheesecake – it looks wonderful.

    • janet @ the taste space said, on March 30, 2013 at 12:02 PM

      Thanks Kari. I don’t think I ever liked traditional heavy cheesecake but my uncle used to make a lighter, fluffier one (it has a bit of flour in it). Tofu cheesecakes aren’t the same but they are similar enough that it invokes the same memories. :)

  8. Gabby @ the veggie nook said, on March 30, 2013 at 11:37 PM

    I almost bought Meyer lemons the other day, now I really wish I had!! I think this looks great despite the short stature ;)

    Good luck on your exams! So cruel having it so soon after Easter. I have a big test on Tuesday- not quite as bad as yours but still mean! Oh well, not like I’m doing anything for Easter anyway.

  9. Genevieve said, on April 2, 2013 at 1:48 PM

    If I ever saw a bag of meyer lemons on sale for only $2, I would buy them too! I’ve actually been wanting to try a tofu-based lemon square, so I’m happy to see your tips! Thicker squares are nice, but at least this way you can cut bigger pieces and still get the same amount of filling! This is a perfect dessert to welcome Spring…or try to entice to it come out!

  10. […] mentioned this in passing… I wasn’t going to share this… not because it tasted bad (it tasted great) but […]

  11. […] Chocolate Mousse Pie, which was then turned into a Chocolate Mint Ice Cream. I also recommend her Lemon Cheesecake Squares, Chocolate Peanut Butter Truffles, and Chocolate Chip Chickpea […]

  12. […] This cheesecake is a combination of a few recipes and both are knock-outs. The filling is courtesy of Ricki Heller‘s new cookbook, Naturally Sweet & Gluten-Free. Since these recipes are all gluten-free and sugar-free, they employ ingredients I don’t have in my (mostly) minimalist pantry. I tried to stay mostly true to her recipe, though, even scoping out lemon extract. I realized that having a concentrated lemon flavour without the sourness would be a good way to reduce the amount of sweetener needed, without resorting to Meyer lemons. […]


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