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Cultured Passion Fruit Cheesecake

Cutting into a fresh ripened passion fruit for the first time is a thrilling and intoxicating experience, as you are hit with an enticingly sweet tropical aroma. Close your eyes, take a deep breath in and for a moment you are transported to a tropical sandy beach. Its signature aroma alone will tempt you to make this cheesecake, I promise. Exotic, sweet, slightly sour and tangy flavors from the passion fruit combine great with creamy desserts and is such a versatile fruit you can come up with endless ways to sneak this into average treats and drinks. Boil down some of the juice with sugar and make a syrup. Pour over pancakes, smother on some buttered toast or even make a dressing out of it. Scoop out the pulp and spoon onto your plain yogurt or vanilla ice cream and you've got yourself a decadent dessert! Passion fruit juice is impressive on its own and it is definitely worth purchasing some fresh fruit when we have them! Passion fruit is native to the sub-tropical regions in Brazil and stretching down to Paraguay and northern Argentina. Although they do not tolerate very cold weather, several varieties are grown in California and can be harvested from late spring to fall.

They are fully ripened when the fruit is deeply wrinkled. Passion fruit flowers and juice have been known for having sedative effects and have been used in treatments for anxiety and high blood pressure. So next time you are feeling the pressures of life, cut open into a passion fruit and breath in for some aromatherapy and slurp up the pulp for a delightfully relaxing treat!

Gluten-free, Dairy-free, can be made vegan

Need: 6 inch spring form pan, wax paper

For the Crust

1 cup almonds

1/2 cup soaked dates

1/4 cup dry shredded coconut

Remove date pits and place in a small bowl

Pour in hot water and let soak for a few minutes, drain and reserve

In a food processor or blender put in almonds first and process to crumb like consistency.

Next add in your soaked dates and coconut

Take your spring form pan and cut out a round of wax paper to cover the bottom

Spoon out your crust mixture and spread onto bottom of pan and around edges

Place in freezer for 2 hours

For the Filling

1 1/2 cup cashews soaked over night

1/4 cup maple syrup

Juice from 1 lemon

Can of coconut milk (place in fridge for 20 min and just collect the cream at the top, save the liquid for smoothies or drink straight)

Pulp and juice from 2 passion fruits (or 3 Tbsp of passion fruit juice)

Pinch of salt

3 Tbsp cultured cream cheese or substitute (Miyoko's is cultured and vegan!)

Place all ingredients into a food processor or blender and blend until creamy

Take out your crust and pour mixture into pan

Leave in freezer for 4 hours

For the Passion Fruit Topping

1/2 cup Passion fruit juice from fresh fruits or bottled

Gelatin powder 1 1/2 tsp (to make this dish Vegan, Agar agar can be substituted for gelatin, 1:1)

2 Tbsp cold water

2-3 Tbsp powdered sugar

In a heat proof small bowl pour in your gelatin powder (or agar agar) and cold water

Stir well and set aside for 10 min

In a pot pour in water half way

Heat on stove to boil

When water has boiled turn heat off and transfer pot to counter quickly.

Place your heat proof bowl over pot of hot water to gently heat up and melt gelatin

Make sure bowl either floats above water or covers the pot, do not allow bowl of gelatin to submerge into hot water

Stir gelatin (or agar agar) until it dissolves

Remove bowl from hot pot and place on counter

Pour in your passion fruit juice and sugar

Mix well

Take your cheese cake pan out of freezer and pour your gelatin mixture onto cake

Cover with plastic wrap and set back into freezer for another hour

After one hour you can leave to set in fridge another 3 hours


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