Back in my callow twenties (and even into my thirties), I was one of those annoyingly punctual people who submitted essays three days early, was always the first one at the restaurant, or who arrived with 30 minutes to spare at the dentist. I’d cast a scowling glance at friends who arrived late for our meetings, implying that their behavior was both inconsiderate and an indication of how little they valued me and my time. (How on earth did they put up with me. . .?). Then, when I finally acquired a car of my own and could finally drive everywhere. . . suddenly I, too, was also late at least 50% of the time. These days, if I can make it to appointments without forgetting altogether, I consider it an accomplishment. (And sorry about that missed appointment last week, Dr. Chiropractor). Needless to say, I’m much more tolerant of tardiness in others these days. (And sorry for those scowling glances, Gemini I). That pernicious lateness vibe seems to have permeated other aspects of my life in recent years, too. The HH and I have become notorious for our exorbitant late fees at the video store (so much so that last week, the cheerful cashier suggested, “Hey, why don’t you just purchase the used DVDs instead? When you buy three, you get one for free!”–which meant that the cost of three DVDs was less than the single late fee we paid for one. Thanks, Mr. Video Store Cashier. Oh, and would anyone like a gently used copy of Date Night?). One of the most vexing aspects of my perennial lateness is my tendency to miss out on myriad blog events in which I’d love to participate. Every month, I read over the contributions to the Adopt a Gluten-Free Blogger roundup, for instance, and think, “Why didn’t I join in? Oh, yeah–too late.” Or I browse the wonderful soups or salads in No Croutons Required and ask myself, “Gee, I made a salad this month–now why didn’t I enter it? Oh, yeah–too late.” Or maybe I pass by the post for My Legume Love Affair one month, and wonder, “Hey–now how come I didn’t submit something to this? Oh, yeah–too late.” Just call me the female version of Alice’s Lapine friend (well, minus the red jacket and whiskers, that is. Though now that menopause is imminent, I’m told it may become just “minus the jacket” soon. Sorry, HH. )
Well, I’ve been following Lisa and Nicole’s raw challenges for a few months now, and I always intend to participate. But then. . . .yep, you guessed it, I’m too late. When I read their post about the Raw Mini Pie Challenge, I decided that this time, I’d start early and be sure to get my entry in on time. One can dream. . . . And now, here it is, the Friday night of the event deadline, and I am just writing up my post. Well, better late than. . . . oh, no, wait. Not this time! I found my inspiration for this raw dessert in yet another Martha Stewart recipe (this one, which was baked), as well as on Lisa’s own blog. I decided to reproduce the concept of apricot cheesecake in a raw mini pie. These little confections pair a gingerbread “cookie” crust with a satiny smooth cashew cream cheese base and tangy fresh apricot swirl. The luscious cheese presents the perfect yin to the lemon-infused apricot’s yang (and the pattern even resembles the yin-yang a little). I’d say the cheese filling in these, a cross between a New York style cheesecake and a mousse, is better than any dairy-based cheesecake I’ve ever had, hands down. The HH and I adored these indulgent little treats a few nights ago, right before we watched The Social Network. And since we now own the DVD, there were no worries about being late for the movie. Now if only I can manage to make it to the dentist on time. . . .
Mini Raw Apricot Swirl Cheesecake Pies
Suitable for ACD Stage 2 and beyond
These rich little bites are a perfect combination of tart, sweet, creamy and chewy. A great treat after an end-of-summer meal. To keep the recipe raw, use raw almond milk that you make yourself.
For the Filling (inspired by Lisa’s own Blueberry Lavender Tart Filling):
1 cup (165 g) raw cashews, soaked for 6 hours (or up to overnight), rinsed and drained
1/2 cup (120 ml) unsweetened plain or vanilla almond milk (for raw, use homemade; or use milk from a carton if you don’t mind it not being raw)
2 Tbsp (30 ml) light agave nectar
20-40 drops plain or vanilla liquid stevia (I use NuNaturals), to your taste
3 Tbsp (45 ml) freshly squeezed lemon juice
finely grated zest of one lemon
2 tsp (10 ml) pure vanilla extract
pinch fine sea salt
1/4 cup (60 ml) coconut oil, melted
For the Crust:
1-3/4 cups (200 g) raw pecans
2/3 cup (115 g ) raw natural almonds
2/3 cup (55 g) dried unsweetened coconut
1 tsp (5 ml) cinnamon
1 Tbsp (15 ml) whole chia seeds, ground to a fine powder in a coffee grinder
pinch fine sea salt
1 Tbsp (15 ml) finely grated fresh ginger
2 Tbsp (30 ml) yacon syrup
50-70 drops plain or vanilla stevia liquid
up to 2 Tbsp (30 ml) plain or vanilla unsweetened almond milk (make your own or, if you’re not worried about it being raw, use milk from a carton)
For the Apricot Swirl:
3-4 small fresh apricots, pitted and cut in quarters
2 tsp (10 ml) white chia seeds, ground to a fine powder in a coffee grinder
1 Tbsp (15 ml) fresh lemon juice
10-20 drops plain or vanilla stevia liquid
Make the filling: Place all ingredients in a high-powered blender (such as a VitaMix) and blend until silky smooth. This make take a while and you may have to use the wand to push the ingredients toward the blades and scrape down the sides several times. Remove to a bowl and allow to sit while you prepare the crust.
Make the crust: Place the pecans, almonds, coconut, cinnamon, chia meal and salt in the bowl of a food processor and process until it resembles a fine meal. Add the remaining ingredients and process just until it comes together in a “dough”. Do not add the milk unless absolutely necessary! Try pinching the crumbled dough between your fingers; if it sticks together, it’s fine, even if it appears a bit dry.
Make the apricot swirl: Place all ingredients in a blender (or use a hand blender) and blend until smooth. The mixture will be semi-liquid but should firm up as the chia absorbs the moisture.
Assemble the pies: Divide the crust dough among 5-6 tart tins (4-6 inches/10-15 cm each), pressing on the bottom and up the sides. Fill with the cheesecake filling, dividing it evenly among the pans. Using a 1/2 teaspoon (2.5 ml) measuring spoon, dollop the apricot spread haphazardly over the top of the cheesecake filling, leaving some white spaces. Using the tip of a sharp knife, pull it through the apricot mixture in different directions to create a marbled effect.
Place the pies in the refrigerator and chill for at least 6 hours or overnight to allow the cheesecake filling to firm up. Store in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Makes 4-6 mini pies.
Note: If you have any leftover apricot spread, save it in a covered container in the refrigerator to use as fresh jam on toast, pancakes, or crackers (it will keep up to 3 days in the refrigerator).
NOTE: You might also be interested in the twin baked version of this dessert, Baked Apricot Swirl Cheesecake Bars.
I’m submitting this recipe to Lisa and Nicole‘s Raw Mini Pie Challenge (for once, I’m not too late!), 😉 Brittany’s Seasonal Sundays and Amy’s Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays this week.
Last Year at this Time: Celebration Pear and Cranberry Cornmeal Cake (Gluten-Free; ACD Stage 3 and beyond)
Two Years Ago: Beet the Heat Mint Salad (Gluten Free; ACD All Stages)
Three Years Ago: Jalapeno Pesto Pizza (easily Gluten Free; ACD Stage 2 and beyond if made with GF crust)
© Ricki Heller
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Congrats on being just in time with this humdinger of a dessert! I can’t think of a better combo than what you just created here, Ricki!
Admittedly, I’m one of those annoyingly overly punctual people. My husband (who has ALWAYS taken his time with everything and is known for his lateness) makes jokes when I rage “hurry up! we’re going to be late!” it actually means that we’ll be about 30 minutes early. : I hope this passes soon… because it’s even starting to annoy me! I hit 30 in november, so hopefully that will be my turning point. ha!
Best wishes! This one will surely shine. <3
Thanks so much, Allyson! And I have to tell you–I miss those days when I was punctual! The HH is like your husband. . . guess I caught the bug. Hoping to return to former ways (but without the judgmental aspect of it!) 😉 Glad you like the mini-pies, too!
These look AMAZING!!! I can’t wait to make them! (The second ingredient in the cheesecake filling is almond milk, right? Pretty sure, but just checking.)
Not sure how I missed your comment until just now–sorry! And yes, the ingredient was almond milk (not butter–ha ha!). I’ve made the correction. Thanks for pointing it out! 😀
I think you’re one step ahead of me as far as lateness goes. You may be late for your Dr. appt., but I can’t even remember to make one!
This is the second post I’ve read tonight to use cashew cream, and now I feel I must have some. The mini pies are adorable and sound luscious, with cashew cream and apricots. I wish I lived closer to Toronto so I could help you with tasting your recipes. 🙂
I’m not sure what’s worse–forgetting to make the appt or making it and then not showing up! Okay, I think we’re tied. 😉
And glad you like the look of these. Isn’t cashew cream just the most luscious thing ever? I adore it. And boy, do I ever wish you were closer to help me taste-test (for many reasons!)–this way, I end up eating them (mostly) myself!
The flavors sound great and you did a beautiful job with presentation. (Also, I’m a sucker for mini anything.) I’m really wishing I had mini tart tins like you have.
Thanks so much, Kalinda! Believe it or not, I got these tins at the local dollar store. Really inexpensive! (I use parchment on the bottoms).
This looks just wonderful!
Thanks so much! I may never eat baked cheesecake again. 😉
A Tablespoon of Liz says
These look so amazing. And I love that their raw, so cute!
Thanks so much, Liz! I loved the raw so much better than the cooked!
So pretty! I’m glad you found time to publish the post – now we can all benefit from your genius. Thank you for participating. I can’t wait for the tasting part of the challenge.
Well, the cheesecake portion is based on yours–so of course it was amazing! 😀 I’m glad I made it under the wire, too.
this looks so delicious! yeah the downside to contests is the timing part. we can’t all make it on time but glad you did for this one.
Thanks, Bitt! I was determined to get at least one raw dessert in on time this summer–I’ve been eating so much raw these days! 🙂
I love your posts, Ricki…they always make me smile 🙂 I am definitely always early and hate to be late. I could probably accomplish a lot more if I didn’t show up to everything 20 minutes early only to sit and wait, lol!!
Thanks so much, Courtney! Eliciting a smile from you brings one to my face, too. 😀 And I never thought about being early that way. . . now I don’t feel so bad about my lateness! 😉
Laureen @foxinthekitchenblog says
Ricki your mini pies look absolutely scrumptious! They’re definitely going on my “must make” list.
Btw, I moved to a new website…http://www.foxinthekitchenblog.com/ I would love for you to come visit if you get a chance 🙂
Thanks, Laureen. The new blog looks great. 🙂
Oh yum Ricki! These look and sound delicious. And they seem like they wouldn’t be too hard to put together. In regards to lateness, our public library is only open because of our inability to return books on time. Seriously, they must get enough money out of us to pay for another employee.
Ha! We felt that way about the video store. . . now I’m going to be buying used DVDs all over the place. 😉
Kristina @ spabettie says
I am one of those who (used to be) perpetually early. most of the time I am still punctual, and then there are things I have every INTENTION of doing… (things like these blog challenges – I always want to find the time to do them!)
these look wonderful!
I’m the same way with the blog challenges! But when I saw a tweet from Lisa a couple of days ago, I knew I couldn’t be late with this one! 😉
This looks amazing, Ricki! I adore a good cheesecake but hadn’t had a “real” one in over 18 months, until I “splurged” last week at a restaurant. Worst decision ever – nowhere near as good as my imaginings, and gave me a horrible stomach ache. I’ll be making this instead soon!
Sorry about the stomach ache! I can’t even imagine what “real” cheesecake tastes like any more. This one is real to me (and I love it). 🙂
Heather J says
I made these last night and there were AMAZING! I halved the recipe, divided it into two mini loaf pans and cut each into 8 bite sized squares (so 16 squares total).
I used agave instead of yacon syrup, So Delicious coconut milk beverage instead of almond milk but otherwise, I kept the recipe the same. And I took your suggested and used the leftover apricot “jam” on top of some coconut flour & almond meal pancakes this morning. Thanks for a great recipe!
Thanks so much, Heather! And it’s good to know how they turn out as squares (I think that would be easier and less fussy than mini-pies, but no less delicious). 😀
sarah@spinach and spice says
beauuuutiful, these look amazing!
I need that vitamix now. $100 more dollars to go! What Vitamix do you have? I’m saving up for the grand daddy of them all, but is it necessary to get the absolute best one?
Thanks for your comment, and for reading my blog! I have the basic VitaMix (model 5200). It does the job for me. I think the model you buy really depends on what you plan to use it for. . . I don’t make my own flours in it and I use my food processor for nut butters, so this really suits my needs just fine. 🙂
Johanna GGG says
What a beautiful little tart – this one would definitely be better late than never!
I used to be very punctual – but maybe it was getting a car that made me get later – now I am making up for all the early arrivals – though I do have some siblings who make me seem punctual no matter how late I am – had lunch at 2.30 yesterday because we were waiting for them (luckily we had brunch at 11)
My downfall was a car, too. Funny how I’m late now that I have the means to be even earlier. . . I guess we take it for granted that we’ll be faster with a car, when often (in Toronto, anyway), it actually takes longer to get somewhere that way!
I was always someone who has always been perpetually late, too! These look just gorgeous.
Thanks, Cheryl! 🙂
I’ve never made raw desserts. Maybe I should try this! Looks so yummy! Can I substitute chia seed with maybe flaxseed? As I don’t have them (never used these seeds before…) ..
Thanks so much for your comment, and for reading! As a rule, you can use flax instead of chia, but you will need more flax than chia (I usually start with about twice as much and check the texture). I do find that flax creates more of a “gummy” texture than chia, but it should still be fine. Let me know how it works if you do give it a try! 🙂
Megan @ The Detoxinista says
Oh my gosh, those mini cheesecakes look so pretty! (and delicious!) My FAVORITE recipe for cheesecake is a raw version, too– but it calls for a lot of agave nectar, which I can’t have while I’m battling candida. Guess I need to try a version with stevia instead!!
I’m always running 5 minutes late, so I’m impressed you were early!! 🙂
Thanks so much, Megan! I did include some agave here as well, but that’s because this is a recipe for people in later stages of the diet, like me. You really shouldn’t be having agave at the beginning, unless it’s a really mild case of candida. 🙂
I couldn’t focus on the text, I’m sorry. I want. That is all. 🙂
Ha, ha! Thanks–one of the best cheesecake fillings I think I’ve had. 🙂
Wow these look amazing! Perfect swirling and that crust looks so good. I used to be someone who was always early, but I had some friends who were always late and I got tired of waiting around so I started to be late, and now I’m always late. It’s terrible. :/
This looks so pretty and so tasty. I could so do one of these for breakfast…lol
Ha ha! You know what, with those ingredients, this would be perfectly fine for breakfast! 😀
I’m looking forward to trying these mini cheesecakes for my daughter. It’s only been a year now that we discovered that she has so many food allergies. Have you tried these with any other fruit than apricots? I was thinking strawberry or raspberry? Thanks, Jodi
Jodi, I bet they’d be phenomenal with raspberries! Strawberries would be great, too. With berries, you might need to add a little more sweetener, but otherwise should work just fine. Let me know how they turn out!
I would love to try this recipe. My family and I are always looking for healthy alternatives. However, we don’t have a food processor. Is there any way to make this without one, say with a blender or something else?
Thanks so much! Yes, I think you could make the crust by grinding each of the ingredients separately in a coffee grinder or blender, putting them all in a bowl together and mixing in the moist ingredients by hand. The rest is already in a blender, so I *think* it should work (though never tried it that way myself). If you do give it a try, let me know how it turns out! 🙂
Sabrina Modelle says
Wow, these just look amazing. I love cashew “cream cheese” and the apricot swirl looks so so good. This is going on a menu during my husband and I’s month-long (or longer) grain free challenge. Love it!
Great to hear, Sabrina! I hope you enjoy them. Good luck with the challenge! I’ve done grain-free for that long in the past and I did end up eating a lot of raw foods! 🙂
Tricia Roderick says
Hi there from Oregon, Ricki!
I hope you and your family are well. 🙂 This recipe looks delicious and I love that it is a raw recipe. Thanks for all the deliciousness you give to all of your fans, you are my favorite healthy recipe go to! ♡
Ricki Heller says
Thank you so much, Tricia, so sweet of you to say! I hope you love the recipe. <3