Holiday Cheesecake with Mulled Wine Poached Fruit
The holidays are upon us and it’s the perfect time to be a bit “extra”. So, deck the halls, bring out the good dishes and glassware, put on something (comfortably) fancy, turn on the festive tunes, and show off your best culinary creations.
Plant-based food is totally on trend, so do consider adding a dish or two to your holiday celebrations and be a part of the plant-forward scene. You can stick with your family’s traditional favorites and swap out an ingredient here and there, or go with something totally new.
And if you really want to wow your guests, why not go all in with this amazing no-cheese cheesecake with deep, rich mulled wine poached fruit? Melissa’s Mulling Spices and exceptional seasonal fruits make it easy to take the rich and creamy, totally plant-based cheesecake to a higher-for-the-holiday level.
Happy Holidays, Everyone!
Holiday Plant-Based Cheesecake with Mulled Wine Poached Fruit
For the Mulled Wine Poached Fruit:
3/4 bottle red wine (zinfandel or merlot)
¾ cup honey
1 package Melissa’s Mulling Spices
1 organic Starkrimson pear
1 Modi or Honeycrisp™ apple
1 large Fuyu persimmon
½ package dried cranberries
For the crust:
2 ½ cups graham cracker crumbs
7 tablespoons plant-based butter
1 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
For the cheesecake:
1 ½ (14 oz.) packages firm tofu (not silken)
1 ½ (8 oz.) containers plant-based cream cheese
1 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon almond extract
1 ½ teaspoons orange zest
2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
Pinch of salt
To make the mulled wine poached fruit, add 3/4 bottle of red wine to a stockpot.
Add in ¾ cup honey and 1 package Melissa’s mulling spices (wrapped in a cheesecloth bundle tied with string). Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer for 5 minutes. (Add more honey if you’d like it sweeter.)
Peel the fruit and cut into chunks. Add the fruit and dried cranberries to the stockpot, cover the pot, and continue to simmer for about 15 minutes until the fruit is tender. Remove the fruit from the pot to a shallow bowl. Discard the spice bundle.
Turn the heat up to medium and reduce the liquid until it reaches the consistency of light syrup, about 15-20 minutes. Remove from the heat and cool to room temperature. Combine the fruit mixture with the syrup and refrigerate overnight.
To make the cheesecake crust, combine the graham cracker crumbs with the melted butter and ground cinnamon until well combined. Pat the mixture onto the bottom of an 8” springform pan. Set the pan on top of a parchment-lined baking sheet.
To make the cheesecake filling, add the tofu, cream cheese, sugar, almond extract, orange zest, orange juice and a pinch of salt into a blender and process until smooth and creamy. (You may need to scrape the sides and push the mixture down into the blender.) Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
Pour the filling into the crust, leveling out the top. Bake for 50 minutes until lightly browned. Turn off the oven and leave the cheesecake in the oven for an additional 60 minutes. Remove the cheesecake from the oven, cool to room temperature, cover with aluminum foil, and refrigerate overnight. (If condensation forms on the top of the cheesecake, blot it with a paper towel.) Serve each slice of cheesecake topped with the fruit mixture and some syrup.
If you prefer not to make the mulled wine, simply poach the fruit in a mixture of 3/4 cup balsamic vinegar, 1cup orange juice, and ½ cup of honey along with the mulling spices. Instead of the fruit in the recipe, choose whatever fruit you like to garnish the cheesecake.