To say that I have a deep love for cheesecake would be the understatement of the century! If I had to pick my favorite savory food I would be right there with Carmi and say “pasta, pasta, and more pasta”. But take me to any restaurant and if cheesecake is on the menu, you can bet your last dollar that I will be ordering it. I even had cheesecake for my wedding cake. A 5 layer, beautifully decorated masterpiece that fed 350 people. I told you my love was deep.
When I set out to create this post I wanted to do something new and different as far as flavor goes. I can’t say I’ve found a cheesecake flavor I didn’t like and I’ve made several different kinds over the years. Still, being summertime here in Georgia, I wanted to do something bright in flavor. Also, with picnics and days at the lake or pool in mind, I wanted to try something fun as far as baking and presentation goes. And, since my favorite season (College Football Season) is right around the corner, this recipe is perfect for tailgating!
You can certainly make this recipe in a traditional cheesecake pan known as a spring form pan. You can also take any cheesecake recipe you have and bake it using the method I will be sharing with you today. Okay, let’s dive in.
I started by finding these jars at my local craft store. They were perfect because of their wide mouth and straight side. I did go ahead and spray paint the lids with a black chalk board paint. Not only do I like the look, but it would be fun to write down on the lids if you have several different flavors to offer guests.
As for my flavor profile, I decided to go with a pina colada profile. I knew I wanted to use coconut in my crust as well as coconut flavoring in the cheesecake itself. I decided to go all out with the coconut in the crust.
By making my own almond flour using the Nut Grater and Meat Mincer Attachment like I did back during our Holiday Baking Series, I was then able to add dehydrated coconut flakes, coconut sugar and coconut oil for my crust. I made sure to use unsweetened coconut flakes because the coconut sugar is actually quite sweet. You could easily substitute brown sugar in place of the coconut sugar if you wanted. By combining everything into the Ankarsrum Double Whisk Bowl with the Balloon Whisks, I was able to make a nice crumbly crust.
I actually used my muddler (for cocktails) to pack my crust down into the jars. If you don’t have a drink muddler, just use the back of a spoon along with your fingers to pack the crust down nice and firm.
You will want to bake the crust alone for a short time and then allow to completely cool before pouring in your cheesecake batter.
Now the trick to making a good cheesecake is to make sure your cream cheese is completely soft. You really don’t want it to be cold at all. If it is still cold, the cream cheese will break up but only into tiny pieces and will remain clumpy during baking. By using a completely soft and room temperature cream cheese, you will ensure a smooth and creamy texture.
As for the coconut milk, be sure to get a brand that is unsweetened and from the first pressing. And this is canned coconut milk I am talking about, not the refrigerated kind in the milk section of the store. Before you purchase it, give the can a shake. If you hear liquid sloshing around DON’T BUY IT! You want a coconut milk that is actually made by blending the actual milk with some of the coconut meat. If you shake the can and don’t hear anything, that is what you want. When you open the can, pour the contents into a small bowl and whisk the solid and liquid together until smooth and creamy.
Then you are ready to measure and add to your recipe. For the crushed pineapple, I like to use the one packed in water. No need for all the added sugar of fruit packed in syrup. Just be sure to drain the pineapple REALLY well. You don’t want any added moisture in your cheesecake.
I also highly recommend baking your cheesecake in a water bath. This helps give you a smooth and creamy cheesecake without drying it out or causing cracks to form in the cheesecake.
Now, to make a whipped cream worthy of a piping bag. For this, I had to ask my sweet friend Manuela Kjeilen from Passion For Baking. She is the queen of all things baked and delicious and I can honestly say she is sweeter than all of her delicious goodies put together! She shared this tip with me: pour the heavy whipping cream in a measuring cup and place in the freezer for about 15-20 minutes before you are ready to whip. Also, use a bit of cream cheese or mascarpone to really help develop a silky whipped topping. Along with a little vanilla bean paste (you could use vanilla extract if you wanted but I just love the flavor of the paste and all the lovely vanilla bean specs it adds), and powdered sugar and you will have the most beautiful whipped cream ever. You could certainly leave out the cheese and just spoon the whipped cream onto the cheesecake. Whichever you prefer, they are both delicious.
Before we go into the actual recipes, let me share my tailgating or picnic tip. Once you’ve made the cheesecakes, put the lids on the jars and put down in a cooler with ice. Place whipped topping and fruit in their own air tight containers and place in cooler along with the cheesecake jars. When ready to serve, take everything out of the cooler, remove the jar lid, top with fruit and whipped cream and serve!
And now for the recipe. I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I have enjoyed creating it for you. Two of my children have already told me they want this for their birthday cake this year! Enjoy!
Piña Colada Cheesecake In A Jar
1 cup almond flour
3/4 cup coconut flakes
1/2 cup coconut sugar (brown sugar or sucanat can also be used)
8 Tbsp. coconut oil, warmed till liquefied
Preheat oven to 350º.
Place meat mincer attachment onto the Ankarsrum Original base. Attach the nut grater attachment onto the meat mincer. Position a small bowl under the attachment. Run 1/2 cup whole raw almonds through the nut grater to produce about 1 cup almond meal. Remove mincer attachment and replace with the Double Whisk Bowl and multi-wire balloon whisks. Measure almond flour, coconut flakes and coconut sugar into the bowl. Turn on low speed and mix just until everything is combined. While mixing on low speed, drizzle in melted coconut oil and continue mixing until a nice wet crumble is formed. Evenly distribute the crust into the jars. Press the crust down firmly in the jar. Place jars on a baking sheet and bake in the oven at for 7-10 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool 15-20 minutes before filling with cheesecake batter.
yield: about 1 3/4 cup (about 2 Tbsp. per jar – 12 jars)
2 (8 oz.) packages cream cheese, softened and at room temperature
1 cup coconut milk, unsweetened and first pressing (drain and whisk together in a bowl)
1 cup sugar (honey granules can also be used)
1 1/2 Tbsp. coconut extract
1 (20 oz.) can crushed pineapple, drained REALLY WELL (packed in juice, NOT syrup)
Position the Double Whisk Bowl onto the Ankarsrum base. Add the softened cream cheese and using the multi wire balloon whisks, start on the lowest speed to begin mixing. Increase speed to low/medium (speed knob set to about 3 o’clock) and continue mixing until cream cheese is completely smooth (about 1 minute). Return speed to low and add the sugar, coconut milk, eggs and coconut extract. Turn speed back up to low/medium and mix for 2 minutes. Return speed to low and add the well drained crushed pineapple and mix just until combined.
Evenly distribute the cheesecake batter into the jars. Place the filled jars into a large deep baking dish. Pour warm water between the jars to create a water bath. You want the water to come about halfway up the sides of the jars.
Bake at 350º for 40 minutes. Turn oven off and allow jars to sit in the oven for 30 minutes. Remove jars from pan and allow to cool on a wire rack or dish towel on the counter. Once they have cooled some, place jars in the refrigerator to completely cool. When ready to serve, top with fresh fruit, whipped cream and toasted coconut.
Whipped Cream & Fruit Topping:
2 cups heavy cream (allow to sit in the freezer for 15-20 minutes before whipping)
1 Tbsp. vanilla bean paste
1/2 cup powdered sugar
6 Tbsp. cream cheese or mascarpone cheese, softened
Chopped fresh strawberries and pineapple for garnish
Toasted dried coconut, optional for garnish
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 air tight container in the refrigerator. May be stored for up to 3-4 days.
Featured Ankarsrum Color: Pearl Blue