This recipe was inspires by Sally Fallon’s cheesecake recipe from Nourishing Traditions. I find the recipes in this book to be rather bland, when I use them I always add extra salt and spices. This cheesecake is filled with all sorts of healthy, nourishing ingredients: pastured eggs, raw milk yogurt, pastured gelatin, and honey.
Sally’s crust used almonds and dates, I wanted to use the sweet wild apricot seeds I had in the freezer. Mine were sourced from Nuts.com. Apricot seeds are a great source of vitamin K, though like any nut, soaking/sprouting help with the anti nutrients in them. We try to limit the amount of nuts in our diet, but I do use them occasionally for recipes like this one.
NOURISHING RAW CHEESECAKE
2 cups organic crispy almonds or sweet wild apricot seeds*
(you could also buy pre sprouted almonds if you’d like, make sure you don’t accidentally buy the bitter apricot seeds, you want the sweet ones!)
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup softened butter, preferable raw & pastured
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon of salt
4 cups Greek yogurt, preferably homemade from raw milk
4 eggs separated at room temperature
1 1/4 cups cream or whole milk, preferably raw and pastured
2 tablespoons gelatin, I recommend Great Lakes Unflavored Gelatin
1/2 cup raw honey or maple syrup
2 vanilla beans, scraped of seeds
zest and juice of 1 lemons, preferable organic
1 Tablespoon vanilla
1/8 teaspoon of sea salt
*Crispy Almonds/apricot seeds: Mix 4 cups almonds or sweet wild apricot seeds with 1 Tablespoon of sea salt and enough filtered water to cover by 3-4 inches. Leave in a warm place for at least 7 hours or overnight. Drain in and spread on a baking pan and put in a warm oven (between 120-150 degrees) for 12 to 24 hours. Stir occasionally until dry and crisp. Store remaining in airtight container. See my post on Crispy Walnuts for more info on soaking nuts.
Process nuts in a food processor until they are chopped fairly finely. Add 1/4 cup of honey, 1/4 cup softened butter, 1 teaspoon of cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon salt. Press into a buttered 9 x 13 pyrex pan to form a crust. Put cream, egg yolks and vanilla bean paste** in a small sauce pan, mix, sprinkle with gelatin and warm just slightly until gelatin is dissolved (should take only 4-5 minutes over low heat). The goal is not to cook the mixture, only to warm it enough for the gelatin to dissolve. When gelatin is dissolved, add zest and juice of one lemon. In a large bowl, combine Greek yogurt, 1/2 cup of honey, 1/8 teaspoon of sea salt, vanilla and mix until smooth. Taste for salt/sugar, you may want to add more honey if you like your cheesecake a little sweeter. Add yolk mixture and mix well. Beat egg whites with a pinch of salt until stiff, fold into cream-cheese mixture and pour into crust. Chill several hours before serving. Top with your favorite fruit, we chose wild Maine blueberries that we had in the freezer.
**Vanilla bean paste is made by scraping the seeds from a vanilla bean. Don’t throw away the beans, put them in your sugar jar or drop them into a bottle of bourbon or vodka to make your own vanilla.
You can mix up the flavors in this cheesecake by changing the sweetener and the nuts used in the crust. Pecans or walnuts would pair beautifully with maple syrup and lots of cinnamon. You could also swap out the cream for pumpkin puree and add pumpkin pie spices to make pumpkin cheesecake.
What’s your favorite cheesecake topping?