Spring has arrived and here in Atlanta, it feels like summer is upon us. With that in mind, I wanted to create a recipe that was cool and refreshing and wouldn’t use the oven for too long. If you are a cheesecake lover like I am, I want you to know that a no-bake cheesecake has a very different texture than a regular cheesecake. The combination of unflavored gelatin and lack of eggs creates a very velvety yet light texture. One taste tester said it was almost like a mousse or firm custard. I decided to use a pan by USA Pan Company that makes 6 mini cheesecakes, but I think you could easily use a traditional spring form pan. I would recommend an 8″ pan to ensure the crust and cheesecake filling are thick enough. I also decided to go non-traditional with my crust. Normally I would do some type of graham cracker crust but for this recipe I decided to try out a gooey almond meringue crust and I have to tell you, it has become an absolute favorite!!
In fact, let’s talk about the crust first. I used the nut grater attachment for the Ankarsrum to make the most perfect fresh almond flour. We have used almond flour in several other posts and you can see those by clicking on the category “Nut Grater”. Fresh almond flour has such a beautiful flavor and you will love it!
Once I made my almond flour, I was ready to make a simple meringue. A trick to making a glossy meringue is to add your powdered sweetener, one spoonful at a time, once the egg whites have become frothy. Then crank the speed up and watch them form stiff peaks. NOTE: Don’t walk away! The Ankarsrum Assistant whips egg whites very quickly and if you turn your back for too long, they will overbeat and break down.
Once the egg whites have whipped, turn the speed back down to low and gently add the almond flour mixture. Mix until combined then evenly distribute between your cheesecake pans. I find that an ice cream scoop works perfect here.
Be sure not to overbake and allow to cool completely before adding the cheesecake filling.
Let’s move onto the filling.
I know this may not seem like a big deal but one thing I love about the Ankarsrum Citrus Press Attachment is the ability to remove the citrus zest and then juice the citrus. So many citrus juicers out on the market have sharp teeth and you are not able to adjust the speed when they rotate. This makes it nearly impossible to zest the citrus before juicing because you aren’t able to firmly grip the slippery, zestless citrus. This is not the case with the Ankarsrum Citrus Press Attachment. There are no sharp teeth to contend with (making it kid friendly) and the adjustable speed allows you to maintain a firm grip on the citrus even after the zest has been removed.
For my cheesecake filling you will start by combining the orange zest, orange juice and sweetener in a medium sauce pan. While this mixture is coming up to a boil, you will dissolve your unflavored gelatin in a small amount of cold water. You can do this directly in the Double Beater Bowl. You will want to use the multi-wire balloon whisks. Once your juice has come to a boil, you will slowly pour it over the softened gelatin while mixing on a low speed. Mix until fully combined and then allow to cool. I decided to pour my orange mixture into a 2 cup measuring cup for easy addition to my cream cheese mixture later on.
Be sure to use room temperature cream cheese and make sure the cream cheese and whipping cream mixture is completely smooth before you pour in the orange mixture. The spout on the Double Beater Bowl is perfect for evenly distributing the cheesecake filling onto the cooled crust. Now just cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for 2 hours and up to 2 days.
I did a couple different toppings for this recipe. First is the fresh whipped cream, candied oranges (recipe to follow) and an orange simple syrup. The orange simple syrup is just the orange juice mixture that we added to the cream cheese mixture. I just made another batch and let it simmer for about 5 minutes just to thicken. For my candied oranges (you could certainly candy lemons or limes as well), I used a special Cara Cara Navel Orange I found at my local grocery store. Not as dark as a blood orange but with a ruby red flesh, this orange was perfect for this recipe. I would recommend candying only blood oranges or these cara-cara oranges as a regular navel orange has too much white pith. If oranges are out of season, I would just top with whipped cream and the orange simple syrup.
I believe you could easily swap out the orange in this recipe for lemon, lime or even grapefruit. I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I enjoyed creating and testing it. Multiple times I might add, just to make sure I got it right 😉 Happy Spring everyone!
SWEETENER NOTE: This recipe calls for powdered sugar as well as regular granulated sugar. You may also use Honey Granules (aka Sucanat w/ Honey) or coconut sugar 1 for 1 in this recipe. To make powdered sugar from either of these sweetener alternatives, simply place the sweetener of choice in a blender and powder.
Mini Orange Cheesecake with Gooey Almond Crust
3/4 cup almond flour (1/2 cup whole raw almonds)
3/4 cup powdered sugar (split into two measurements: 1/2 cup and 1/4 cup)
2 egg whites, room temperature
1 tsp. vanilla
Preheat oven to 320° F. If using a traditional spring form cheesecake pan, I recommend spraying with a bit of cooking spray unless the pan is non-stick.
Begin by fitting the nut grater attachment onto the Ankarsrum mixer base. On low speed, add the 1/2 cup of whole raw almonds. Once all of the nuts have run through, remove the attachment and add 1/2 cup powdered sugar to the flour mixture and set aside.
Affix the Double Beater Bowl onto the Ankarsrum mixer base with the multi-wire whisks attached to the beater head. Place egg whites into the mixing bowl and begin whipping on a low to medium speed (about 3 o’clock on the speed knob). Once egg whites become frothy, add remaining 1/4 cup powdered sugar a little at a time along with vanilla extract, until fully combined. Slowly increase speed to high and whip until stiff peaks are formed and egg whites are smooth and glossy. Remove the beaters and add almond flour mixture. With a spatula, slowly fold in the almond flour until fully combined. Evenly distribute almond meringue into prepared pan.
Bake 15-18 minutes or until the crust is slightly golden brown around the edges. When done, remove from oven and allow to cool completely before adding the filling.
1 pkg. powdered gelatin, unflavored
1/4 cup cold water
zest of 1 orange
3/4 cup fresh orange juice, about 1 large orange
1/2 cup sugar
12 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
1 tsp. vanilla bean paste or extract , orange extract may be used in place of the vanilla if you desire
Affix the Double Beater Bowl with the multi-wire whisks onto the Ankarsrum mixer base. Add the 1/4 cup cold water and sprinkle the unflavored gelatin over the water and allow to soften.
In a medium sauce pan over medium-high heat, whisk together orange juice, sugar and orange zest, bringing to a rolling boil. Remove from heat and with the mixer running on low, slowly pour over the softened gelatin. Continue mixing until gelatin is completely dissolved and combined with orange juice mixture. Pour orange mixture into a large measuring cup and set aside to cool.
Once orange mixture has cooled, add softened cream cheese to the Double Beater Bowl with the multi-wire whisks attached. On low-medium speed (knob set to about 2 o’clock), whip cream cheese until smooth and creamy. Slowly add the heavy whipping cream and vanilla. Once combined, slowly add the orange mixture. Once added, increase speed to medium-high (knob set to about 5 o’clock) and whip for 1-2 minutes.
Pour filling onto cool crust, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for a minimum of 2 hours and up to 2 days. When ready to serve, gently remove cheesecake from the pan. Using a plastic knife, gently slide and lift cheesecake off the pan insert.
Top with fresh whipped cream, orange simple syrup and candied oranges.
1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream, cold (put in freezer for 10 minutes before whipping)
4 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla bean paste or extract
Position the Double Whisk Bowl onto the Ankarsrum base with the multi-wire balloon whisks. Place softened cream cheese into the bowl and begin mixing on the lowest speed until smooth and creamy. Slowly pour cold cream into the bowl and begin whipping on the lowest speed. Turn up to a medium speed (about 5 o’clock) and begin adding the powdered sugar a spoonful at a time until all has been added. Add the vanilla bean paste and increase speed to high. Continue whipping until a stiff yet smooth and silky consistency is reached. This should take no more than 4-5 minutes total.
This whipped cream can be added to a piping bag and used to decorate the tops of your cheesecake, or you may just scoop it out and add to each cheesecake as desired. Any unused cream must be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator. May be stored for up to 3-4 days.
Optional Candied Oranges:
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup water
1 large orange, cut into 1/8 inch slices (about 8 slices)
In a large fry pan/skillet, combine water and sugar. Over medium-high heat dissolve sugar and add sliced oranges. Bring sugar water to a soft boil, reduce heat and simmer oranges for 15-20 minutes, flipping every few minutes. Place coated orange slices on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone mat. Refrigerate for 2-4 hours. Once hardened, cut slices into quarters for garnish or enjoy as is.
Ankarsrum Featured Color: Pearl Blue AKM 6230 PB
Featured Pan by: USA Pan Company – Mini Cheesecake Pan – 6 Well
Featured Dishes by: The Pioneer Woman and purchased at Walmart