This cultured caramel cheesecake is full of fall flavors and spices. If you’re a fan of apple pie, you will love this twist on a cheesecake. The oat crumble topping is also an excellent recipe on its own and is great as granola or cereal!

 

Credit:

Reprinted with permission from The Art of Raw Desserts by Crystal Bonnet. Page Street Publishing Co. 2022. Photo credit: Crystal Bonnet.

Apple Crumble Caramel Cheesecake [Vegan]

Serves

Yield: Two 4 1/2-inch (11.5-cm) cakes

Ingredients

For the Spiced Walnut Oat Crumble:

  • 1 cup (100 g) raw walnuts, soaked for 4 hours and rinsed
  • 1 cup (80 g) gluten-free rolled oats
  • 3/4 cup (49 g) large flake unsweetened dried coconut
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) coconut nectar
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 12 drops vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/8 teaspoon Himalayan salt

For the Caramelized Apples:

  • 4 red apples, unpeeled, cored and small diced
  • 1/4 cup and 2 tablespoons (90 ml) coconut nectar
  • 2 tablespoons (20 g) coconut sugar
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 4 drops vanilla extract
  • Pinch of Himalayan salt

For the Coconut Ginger Crust:

  • 1 cup (80 g) medium-shred unsweetened dried coconut
  • 1/4 cup (33 g) activated oat flour
  • 2 tablespoons (18 g) powdered coconut sugar
  • 2 tablespoons (16 g) mesquite powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon Himalayan salt
  • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) melted virgin coconut oil
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) water
  • 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
  • 3 drops vanilla extract

For the Cultured Caramel Filling:

  • 1 cup (240 ml) cultured cashew cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) water
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) coconut nectar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon (8 ml) fresh lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon (scant 4 g) sunflower lecithin powder
  • 1/4 cup and 2 tablespoons (90 ml) melted virgin coconut oil
  • 1 tablespoon (8 g) mesquite powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon Himalayan salt

Assembly

  • Leftover Caramelized Apples
  • 1 batch vanilla bean coconut whipped cream or vanilla bean ice cream
  • Edible flowers (optional)
  • Microgreens (optional)

Preparation

For the Spiced Walnut Oat Crumble:

  1. In a food processor, process the walnuts, oats, coconut flakes, coconut nectar, lemon juice, ginger, cinnamon, vanilla, nutmeg, allspice, cardamom and salt together until a crumble forms.
  2. Spread the mixture on a lined dehydrator tray and dehydrate at 115°F (46°C) for 16 to 18 hours, flipping the crumble halfway through. Transfer the crumble to the freezer and let it cool and crisp up. The extra crumble makes wonderful granola and will keep in the freezer for months.

For the Caramelized Apples:

  1. In a bowl, combine the apples, coconut nectar, coconut sugar, lemon juice, cinnamon, vanilla and salt until well mixed. Place the bowl on the bottom tray of your dehydrator and dehydrate the mixture in the bowl at 115°F (46°C) for 8 to 9 hours, or until the mixture is thick and reduced. Transfer the mixture to a container and store it in the fridge to cool and thicken up until it is ready to use.

For the Coconut Ginger Crust: 

  1. In a food processor, process the shredded coconut, activated oat flour, powdered coconut sugar, mesquite powder and salt together until the mixture resembles coarse flour. Add the melted coconut oil, water, ginger and vanilla, and process until the batter sticks together. Perform a “squeeze test” by taking some of the crust batter and squeezing it in your hands; if the batter stays formed, it's done processing. If it’s dry, process it a little longer to release the oils from the shredded coconut.
  2. Line two 4½-inch (11.5-cm) springform pans with parchment paper or plastic wrap on only the removable bottom. Press the crust mixture firmly into the bottom of each pan with your fingers and use the back of a little spoon to even out the crust. Set aside while you make the filling.

For the Cultured Caramel Filling: 

  1. Before making this component, ensure your caramelized apples and spiced walnut oat crumble are done dehydrating. Blend the cultured cashew filling, water, coconut nectar, lemon juice, sunflower lecithin, melted coconut oil, mesquite powder, cinnamon and salt until smooth.
  2. Place some caramelized apples in the center of each cake crust, leaving about ⅜ inch (1 cm) of space around the edges. If you put the caramelized apples too close to the edge of the springform pan, it will be difficult to remove the pan. Reserve some caramelized apples to use as garnish.
  3. Pour the cultured caramel filling into the springform pans, filling them to just below the top of the pans. Take some of the spiced walnut oat crumble and create a layer on top of the filling, pressing the crumble into the filling so the crumble sets into the top of the filling.
  4. Chill the cakes in the freezer for a minimum of 8 hours or overnight, until firm.

For the Assembly:

  1. Remove the cakes from the springform pans while still frozen and allow them to thaw at room temperature for 30 minutes. Slice each cake into eight equal-sized wedges and serve each piece with extra caramelized apples, vanilla bean whip or vanilla bean ice cream and top with an edible flower (if using) and microgreens (if using).


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