Today is my mother-in-laws birthday! Happy Birthday second mom! In fact, all of my in-laws have birthdays in the next week. That’s right, mother, father, sister, brother in law, and even my husband! This recipe is in honor of my brother-in-law. He is a wonderful person who truly loves key lime pie. He is also always willing to eat what I’m making with little concern, judgement, or preconceived notion of what it might taste like based on the ingredients it contains.. Can’t ask for more in a person. I also thought this was good timing with Cinco de Mayo coming up, which is, obviously, a perfect time to eat things that are flavored with lime.
Happy Birthday to all my chosen family!
Vegan Key Lime Cheesecake
1 1/2 cups raw cashews
1/4 cup coconut oil
1/3 cup coconut milk
pinch of salt
2 tsp lime zest
1/2- 2/3 cups key lime juice (from all but 5 limes in a 1lb bag)
1/3 cup agave necter (more if you desire)
1 TBL + 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
For the crust
3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs (1 sleeve of whole graham crackers) I used the blender to grind them into crumbs
1 TBL brown sugar
3 1/2 TBL vegan butter, melted
Preheat oven to 325.
Prepare muffin pan with 12 liners.
Mix graham cracker crumbs, brown sugar, and vegan butter in a bowl until combined.
Divide evenly into prepared muffin tin.
Press crumbs down into pan with the bottom of a cup or you fingers.
Bake 6-8 minutes until lightly golden.
While crust is cooling; place cashews in a small pan and cover with water. Bring to a boil, then drain.
Place the cooked cashews, coconut oil, coconut milk, salt, lime zest, lime juice (start with 1/2 cup), agave, and vanilla in a high powered blender and blend until smooth.
Taste and adjust lime and sweetness ratio to your liking. Just add a little at a time, blend briefly, then taste. I like 2/3 cup lime juice to 1/3 cup agave.
Pour into the muffin pan on top of the cooled graham cracker crust and refrigerate overnight.
You can also freeze these with excellent results, just thaw them on the counter for 15-20 minutes before serving.
I love Mexican food, and there is no better excuse for eating it than the 5th of May. There is a common misconception in the US that Cinco de Mayo is the Mexican independence day which is actually celebrated on September 16th. Cinso de Mayo actually celebrates the Mexican victory over French troops at the battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862. As I said though, it is just a wonderful reason to thank Mexico for their delicious food and celebrate when spring actually comes to the East Coast. It also happens to be my husbands, and my father-in-law’s birthday. It’s really just a wonderful and special day for me overall.
In case you want to celebrate I have a few recipes for you to choose from, or build a buffet of this holiday. Happy Cinco de Mayo and I hope the day is beautiful.
I’m not going to lie to you; the picture of the tomatillos is not mine, it is fromhttp://commons.wikimedia.org. I almost didn’t write this post for a lack of a picture of the salsa, but I didn’t want to ruin your Cinco de Mayo because I didn’t have a picture of this delicious roasted tomatillo salsa. I have tried to take pictures of it, but it is eaten to fast and the pictures always blur. This salsa is a recipe I learned at the elbow of a wonderful friend when we lived in San Diego. Since living in Maine we have been growing our own tomatillos and have been making great batches of the salsa, always with the memories of being almost smoked out of our very small enclosed kitchen in San Diego when our friend roasted the chili peppers. Oh, the sweet memories. This is a perfect appetizer for any Mexican meal, or anytime you want to impress someone with your amazing salsa making abilities.
Roasted Tomatillo Salsa
12-15 tomatillos, husks removed
5-15 chilis del arbol
2 small cloves garlic, peeled
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp sugar
Line a heavy skillet with aluminum foil. (I use my cast iron skillet)
Place tomatillos in the skillet and roast over medium high heat, turning occasionally, until tomatillos are cooked through and turning black in spots. About 20-30 minutes. (If you under-cook them I hear they taste like caterpillars)
While cooking tomatillos heat a small amount of oil in a small skillet. Add the chilies and cook until they are browned on all sides. Remove from heat and set aside.
When tomatillos are cooked through place all ingredients (adding only a few chilies to start) in a food processor and blend until everything is mixed and very finely chopped.
Taste and add more chilies and salt to suit your palate.
Serve warm or after it has cooled depending on you level of patience.
Note: Salsa looses some of it’s spiciness when it cools.