Classic Cheesecake with Gluten Free Almond Crust

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            I love cheesecake- who doesn’t really? My mom and I made this cheesecake together for our family’s Thanksgiving. We had gluten free guests over, and thus wanted to find a gluten free dessert that all would like. Therefore, I give you this scrumptious Cheesecake with Gluten Free Almond Crust! It was a hit.

            As my mom and I scuttled around the kitchen that week, preparing our family’s favorite traditional dishes for the holiday, my mom shared with me how she found this recipe. I thought that in return, I would do the same for you.

            When my mom was thirteen year old, her mom was having a birthday. My mom asked her mother what she wanted for a gift, and the only response she got was a “classic, New York style cheesecake.” As my mom looked back on that, she imagines that her mother was kidding, that she never expected her 13 year old to prepare a cheesecake for her. However, that’s exactly what my mom did.

My mom found this recipe in a cookbook, a cookbook the family no longer has. Today, all that is left of this recipe is a very faded index card with my grandmothers slanted cursive handwriting, and my mother’s penciled in notes.

Upon deciding on this recipe, my mother said she biked to the store and bought all the ingredients and a spring form pan. Then, that Sunday, my mom said she went to the early church service and biked herself home, skipping Sunday School and the second worship service, to bake her cheesecake. That was quite the task as the preacher’s daughter! However, by the time her mother cake home, the cheesecake was cooling and ready to be consumed in a birthday celebration.

Apparently, ever since that birthday, whenever anyone in the family wanted a cheesecake, this was the recipe they used. The original version came with a classic Cheesecake crust, which you could still prepare if you have a nut allergy or would simply prefer a flour crust. However, to be gluten friendly, my mom and I tweaked her classic recipe to use the same delicious cake filling, but incorporating a gluten free crust, and it was delicious!

All week my mom and I were sneaking slivers of this delicious cake. Despite the very limited addition of vanilla and lemon, both flavors are prominent and balanced in this recipe- making it a refreshing and delicious dessert option. Hope your family loves it as much as mine has over the years!

Love, A Rented Kitchen

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Crust Ingredients:

  • 2 ¼ cups finely ground blanched almonds
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup melted butter
  • 2 Tablespoons pure maple syrup 

Cheesecake Ingredients:

  • 5- 8 ounce packages cream cheese
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla
  • ¾ teaspoon grated lemon peel
  • 1 ¾ cups sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons flour (gluten free or all-purpose)
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 5 whole eggs + 2 additional egg yolks
  • ¼ cup whipping cream

Crust Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350˚ F.
  2. Thoroughly mix all of the crust ingredients in a bowl.
  3. Using your fingers, press the nut mixture onto the bottom of a round spring form pan. (Do not yet cook the sides!)
  4. Bake the crust, without the circular spring-form attachment, for 8 minutes.
  5. Remove from the heat, cool for 2 minutes, and then attach the sides of the spring-form pan.
  6. Press the nut mixture up the sides of the spring form pan. The crust is now ready to be filled with the cream cheese filling and baked again.

Filling Directions:

  1. Let cream cheese soften 1- 1 ½ hours, or unwrap, and briefly microwave each package.
  2. Preheat the oven to 450˚F.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese until creamy. Add the vanilla and lemon peel and continue mixing until blended.
  4. Slowly blend in the sugar, flour, and salt.
  5. One at a time, add the 5 eggs and 2 additional egg yolks to the mix, beating after each just until blended.
  6. Gently stir in the cream.
  7. Pour the mixture into the crust and bake at 450˚F for 12 minutes. Reduce the heat to 300˚ and bake for an additional 55 minutes.
  8. Allow the cake to cool. After half an hour, loosen the sides with a spatula or knife. Remove the spring form pan after one hour, and allow cake to cool and additional two before cutting.
  9. Optional: Glaze with strawberry or pineapple, or sprinkle with additional lemon zest.

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Notes and Tips!:

  • Like this recipe? Try these other delicious cakes from A Rented Kitchen! (Recipe links found below):

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