Raspberry Jelly Cheesecake Slice

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Raspberry Jelly Cheesecake Slice, Quirky Cooking

Photography by Stephanie Rieter, Total Capture Photography

If you know me at all, you’ll know I love cheesecake. Sadly, for many years, I couldn’t eat it! Whenever I ate dairy, I’d end up with headaches, an upset tummy, a stuffy nose, hayfever, and (if I had dairy a few days in a row) horrible flu symptoms… But sometimes I’d give in and have a bit of cheesecake anyway and just deal with the aftermath because I LOVE CHEESECAKE!!! But yeah, not ideal.

I started reacting to dairy as a small child, and as I grew my intolerance to dairy also grew. For many years I thought that the only thing I could do about it was to avoid it… forever. I began to think that since dairy bothered so many people, it must not be a food suitable for humans to eat, and really everyone should avoid it. Sure, I knew it had been a staple in the diet of many ancient cultures and hadn’t caused health issues for them, but maybe the people back then were hardier and coped with it better or something?? I didn’t really understand it, but figured it wasn’t a great food and I would stay away from it.

Raspberry Jelly Cheesecake Slice, Quirky Cooking

Fast forward fifteen or twenty years, and enter my son Isaac’s sudden downturn in health, his struggles with severe OCD, my realisation that gut health is foundational for good overall health, and our subsequent massive gut-healing journey… (read the story here). We began by taking out all the foods that were difficult to digest or that caused us problems, and kept only very nourishing, easy to digest foods in the diet (mostly just slow cooked meats, stocks, veggies and animal fats at first). No dairy, not even butter or ghee. Then as we worked through gut-healing, we began to slowly add foods back in, taking care to use only traditional, whole foods that were unprocessed and preferably organic or pesticide free.

And here’s the interesting bit… the kids (who had always reacted to dairy as I did) were very quickly able to introduce 24 hour yoghurt and sour cream, ghee and butter into the diet, without any reactions. And after a year of deep healing, I was able to eat ghee! (Imagine my excitement!!!) Then yoghurt, sour cream, butter and eventually… cheese! First the hard cheeses, then the softer cheeses, and now I can pretty much eat any dairy (in moderation), as long as it’s not highly processed and preferably organic and non-homogenised. WOO HOOOOOO!!!

Raspberry Jelly Cheesecake Slice, Quirky Cooking

How is it that a food that caused me so many problems for years is now a healthy food for me? Well, quality plays a big part: there’s no comparison between your general supermarket milk and dairy products and their good old fashioned whole food counterparts – especially organic, unprocessed dairy and probiotic-rich fermented dairy products that are such a big part of many traditional diets. And secondly, a damaged gut is not properly able to digest dairy (and many other foods, even if they are traditional, organic whole foods), so you need to get to the root cause of the issue and heal the gut! Once I changed these two factors, I was able to reintroduce dairy.

However, cheesecake eluded me. Organic cream cheese is very difficult to find (have you ever seen it?? I haven’t!), and whenever I tried regular cream cheese the hayfever came back and I didn’t feel so good. So I decided to try an old fashioned organic cheese called quark.

In case you’ve never heard of it:

“Quark is a white, soft, fresh dairy spread often compared to cream or cottage cheese. It’s usually made by fermenting and warming milk with live cultures, then straining it. Unlike cheese, it generally contains little to no salt or rennet, and it’s not traditionally based on whey like ricotta, though the exact process varies from manufacturer to manufacturer.” via Good Food)

Our local organic dairy (Mungalli Creek) makes quark and we can get it in our tiny little supermarket in my country town. I found it worked beeeeautifully in my cheesecake instead of cream cheese, AND I didn’t react to it!! YAY!!!! 

So I now have cheesecake back in my life, and I’m so happy that I just had to share this recipe with you all – a healthy revamp of the old Aussie favourite, Raspberry Jelly Cheesecake Slice. πŸ™‚ 

For those of you who can’t find quark where you live: Start hassling your local organic dairies (hee hee), or make your own (recipe here), or use cream cheese if you like.

For those of you who can’t have dairy, or want a vegan variation: I remember the frustration and the longing for cheesecake, and I am sending you love and hugs and a dairy free, vegan version! πŸ˜€ (See? I wouldn’t forget you, don’t worry.) This variation is super yummy too, so scroll down to the second recipe card and get those cashews (or almonds) soaking!

For those of you who can’t have nuts: Try replacing the nuts in the base with pepitas and/coconut flakes. If you need a dairy free, nut free version, sunflower seeds should work instead of the nuts, but the colour won’t be as white. Disclaimer – I haven’t tried a nut free version, so you may have to play with it a little!!

Note: You can choose which recipe you want to make and print out the recipe card below by clicking on the Print button at the top of the recipe. πŸ™‚

Raspberry Jelly Cheesecake Slice, Quirky Cooking

A word of warning: this recipe is very addictive. You may want to cut it up into squares and freeze it in small batches so that you don’t just eat it all within a couple of days. That may work… probably won’t, but just so you know, it does freeze well. And if you DO manage to ignore it calling you from the freezer, you will have some on hand for when friends pop by for a cuppa. Yay!!

Enjoy! xx

Which Gelatine Should I Use?

Changing Habits gelatine is by far the best gelatin that we’ve come across. It’s organic and has little/no flavour when added to food. (Affiliate link)

 
Changing Habits Gelatin Powder

Raspberry Jelly Cheesecake Slice - dairy version
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Base
  1. 200g pecans (activated or raw)
  2. 40g butter
  3. 1/8th tsp sea salt (omit if using salted butter)
  4. 1 Tbsp honey
  5. 1/2 tsp cinnamon
Filling
  1. 1/4 cup hot water
  2. 1 Tbsp gelatine
  3. 350g organic quark or cream cheese
  4. 600g pure cream (not thickened)
  5. 180g honey or maple syrup
  6. 1 tsp vanilla extract or 1/2 tsp vanilla powder
Jelly
  1. 300g frozen raspberries
  2. 40g honey or maple syrup
  3. 1 Tbsp rosewater (optional)
  4. 2 Tbsp gelatine
Thermomix Method
Base
  1. Line a 30x20cm (or 25x25cm) baking dish with baking paper and set aside.
  2. Place all base ingredients into TM bowl and chop 10 sec/speed 5. Scrape down sides of bowl and chop for a few more seconds on speed 5 if needed (until blended but still a little bit chunky).
  3. Press firmly into the lined dish and place into freezer while making filling.
Filling
  1. Whisk gelatine into hot water and set aside.
  2. Place quark or cream cheese, cream, honey or syrup, vanilla and gelatine mixture into TM bowl and cook 5 min/60C/speed 4.
  3. Pour over base and place back into freezer until set firm, approx two hours.
Jelly
  1. Place all ingredients into clean TM bowl.
  2. Cook 10 mins/100C/speed 2. Set aside with lid off to cool.
  3. Strain through a nut milk bag as soon as jelly is cool enough to touch, then pour over filling, spreading evenly. (Straining through a nut milk bag will give you a beautiful, clear jelly; but you can use a fine metal sieve if you like - the jelly will just look a little darker.)
  4. Place back into freezer until cheesecake is set firm, approx. half an hour.
  5. To serve: cut into squares and serve cold. Garnish with some fresh raspberries if desired.
Tips for Conventional Method
Base
  1. Mix all ingredients in a food processor or blender until mixture comes together. Don’t overprocess, you want it to have a little bit of texture.
Filling
  1. Mix gelatine into hot water; place all ingredients into a double boiler over medium heat and whisk until smooth and warm to touch. Pour over base and place in freezer to set as above.
Jelly
  1. Simmer ingredients on stovetop until berries are falling apart. Remove from heat, cool slightly, blend in a blender, then strain through a nut milk bag or fine metal sieve. Pour over set filling, smooth, and place back in freezer to set as above.
Storage
  1. Refrigerate for up to 1 week, or freeze for 6-8 months, well wrapped to keep air out.
Quirky Cooking https://www.quirkycooking.com.au/

Raspberry Jelly Cheesecake Slice, dairy free, Quirky Cooking

Dairy free, vegan version – Photo by Sarah Moran

Raspberry Jelly Cheesecake Slice - dairy-free/vegan version
Write a review
Print
Base
  1. 200g pecans (activated or raw)
  2. 40g coconut oil
  3. 1/8th tsp sea salt
  4. 1 Tbsp pure maple syrup
  5. 1/2 tsp cinnamon
Filling
  1. 2 tsp agar powder
  2. 1/4 cup hot water
  3. 250g raw cashews (soaked for up to 6 hours) or blanched almonds (soaked for 10 hours or overnight)
  4. 30g lemon juice
  5. 300g coconut cream
  6. 1 tsp vanilla extract or 1/2 tsp vanilla powder
  7. 100g pure maple syrup
Jelly
  1. 1 Tbsp agar powder
  2. 1/4 cup hot water
  3. 300g frozen raspberries
  4. 40g pure maple syrup
  5. 1 Tbsp rosewater (optional)
Thermomix Method
Base
  1. Line a 30x20cm (or 25x25cm) baking dish with baking paper and set aside.
  2. Place all base ingredients into TM bowl and chop 10 sec/speed 5. Scrape down sides of bowl and chop for a few more seconds on speed 5 if needed (until blended but still a little bit chunky).
  3. Press firmly into the lined dish and place into freezer while making filling.
Filling
  1. In a small bowl, whisk agar with hot water. The agar will thicken immediately.
  2. Drain nuts and rinse well. Place into TM bowl with remaining filling ingredients, including agar mixture. Blend 1 min/speed 9.
  3. Scrape down sides of bowl with spatula and blend again 30 sec/speed 9, or until very smooth.
  4. Pour over base and place back into freezer until set firm, approx two hours.
Jelly
  1. In a small bowl, whisk agar with hot water. The agar will thicken immediately. Set aside while the raspberry mix is cooking.
  2. Place raspberries, maple syrup and rosewater (if using) into TM bowl and cook 10 mins/100C/speed 2.
  3. Strain immediately through a fine metal sieve into a mixing bowl.
  4. Add the agar mixture to the warm strained raspberries and whisk thoroughly until smooth and glossy.
  5. Pour over frozen cheesecake, tipping pan to help it cover surface, and spread evenly with a spatula. The jelly will begin to set immediately on the frozen cheesecake, so work quickly!
  6. Place cheesecake back into freezer until completely set before slicing.
Tips for Conventional Method
Base
  1. Mix all ingredients in a food processor or blender until mixture comes together. Don’t overprocess, you want it to have a little bit of texture.
Filling
  1. Mix agar into hot water; place all ingredients into a blender and blend at high speed, scraping down as needed, until mixture is smooth. Pour over base and place in freezer to set as above.
Jelly
  1. Simmer raspberries, maple syrup and rosewater (if using) on stovetop until berries are falling apart. Remove from heat, cool slightly, blend in a blender, then strain through a fine metal sieve into a bowl. Add agar and hot water mixture and whisk until smooth. Pour over set filling, smooth, and place back in freezer to set as above.
Storage
  1. This cheesecake is best stored in the freezer as the agar jelly may bleed into the filling if left in fridge. Slice into squares once set, then store in freezer in an airtight container for up to 6 months.
Quirky Cooking https://www.quirkycooking.com.au/

 

15 Comments

  1. Amanda says:

    could you replace the agar with gelatine in the dairy free version?

    • QuirkyJo says:

      Hi Amanda, yes you can! πŸ™‚ For the jelly, follow the dairy version as is. For the filling, use the amount in the dairy recipe and simmer it in a small saucepan with the 1/4 cup water until it’s completely dissolved, cool until warm to touch, then add to the other filling ingredients and blend.

  2. Tinh says:

    I made the dairy-free/vegan version using the conventional method for my son’s birthday. It was delicious! Thank you so much for this version. I missed cheesecake.

  3. Chelsea Fletcher says:

    This is yum, thanks for sharing.
    Was i to melt the butter for the base? I also found 200g wasn’t enough of the pecans, i was only able to spread in a 20×20 tin.

    • QuirkyJo says:

      Hi Chelsea, glad you enjoyed the slice. πŸ™‚ No, there is no need to melt the butter for the base. The base is quite thin (we decided we liked this better when testing it) so it takes some patience and a little extra time to spread it out in the tin. xx

    • Kylie says:

      I have a tip for spreading the base into the larger tin: I lined the tin with baking paper (as directed), poured in the crumb mix somewhat evenly….ish. Then I got another rectangle of baking paper, laid it on the crumb and used my hands to smooth it all out to the edges. You could even use the smooth base of a wide glass (on top of the baking paper) to spread it out. Then just peel off the top sheet of paper at the end.

  4. Karin says:

    Yum…. I always use quark for cheesecake from my.mums recipe…. cannot wait to try this also….. love love love cheese cake…. so happy you have it in your life also… cheese cake is my mums love ….
    Love is. .. cheesecake

  5. Karen Reid says:

    Hi Jo – I’m going to try this for my husband’s birthday since he’s been without cheesecake since my son and I have been off dairy. We can have butter, and I have found quark, but we can’t have the cream in the dairy version. If I do the dairy version but substitute the cream for coconut cream, should I use 300g or 600g coconut cream? And how much honey? Thank you.

    • QuirkyJo says:

      Hi Karen! πŸ™‚ As you are substituting one type of cream for another, you will need to use the same quantity of coconut cream as per the recipe (600g). You can also use the same amount of honey (180g). Hope your husband loves it! xx

  6. April says:

    Can you use other berries like blueberries? Will it matter too much if you skip the straining part? Just thinking of keeping all the fibre goodness of the berries.

    • QuirkyJo says:

      Hi April! πŸ™‚ You can definitely use other berries but I would still recommend straining as the seeds in the berries are not very palatable in the jelly. xx

  7. April says:

    Hi Jo, I’d like to replace the Agar with gelatin in the filling. How many tablespoons would you suggest? Agar never seems works for me, it just ends up sloppy unless I need to wait overnight? I just tried it after two hours in the freezer and it’s sloppy.

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