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Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Champagne Grape Cheesecake

Grape season is here and there are more varieties than ever to enjoy. There's the Thomcord (a marriage between a Concord and a Thompson), Green Muscato crisp, firm, richly sweet), Black Muscato (plum-like in flavor), Niabell (earthy and similar to the classic Concord), Red Muscato (sweet and crunchy), and "the toast of the produce aisle" the Champagne Grape (like a lightly sweet, refreshing, and very drinkable wine).

The delicious flavor and darn-right cuteness of the Champagne Grapes inspired me to go into the pantry and bring out the two darn-right cute 6 1/4" spring form pans that I found at a charity rummage sale a few years ago. Then all I needed was to refer to my favorite tofu cheesecake recipe from Patricia Greenberg's The Whole Soy Cookbook   With an adjustment or 2 for the amount of filling I needed for the diminutive pans,  and some fresh lemon zest for pizazz, here's the perfect results:

Champagne Grape Tofu Cheesecake

1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
5 Tbsp. Earth Balance soy margarine
1 pkg. (12 oz.) firm silken tofu
1/2 cup organic sugar
8 oz. Tofutti brand Better Than Cream Cheese
1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
1 1/2 Tbsp. lemon zest

1 1/2 cups Melissa's Champagne Grapes (de-clustered)                 
about 1/3 cup jam (whatever flavor you like)

Preheat your oven to 325 degrees.

To make the crust, process the graham cracker crumbs until finely ground.  Add the margarine and pulse until the mixture becomes coarse crumbs.  Pat the mixture in a layer about 1/4-1/3" deep on the bottom of each darn-right cute spring form pan.  (If you only have an 8" spring form pan then adjust the recipe to 2 cups cracker crumbs and 6 Tbsp. soy margarine.)

To make the filling, blend the tofu in a processor until smooth.  Add the sugar, "cream cheese", vanilla, and lemon zest and process again until smooth, scraping down the sides if necessary.

Pour the filling into the pan(s) and bake for 50 minutes until slightly browned.  Turn the oven off and leave the cake(s) in the oven for 1 hour.  Remove and cool to room temperature.  Refrigerate overnight.

Melt the jam in the microwave on in a saucepan until smooth.  Let cool slightly then spread on the top of the cakes.  Place the champagne grapes on the top of the jam to cover.  Chill again for about 1 hour.  Serve.

The season's tastiest table grapes are harvested by hand from California's San Joaquin valley and delivered by Melissa's Produce Company to stores all over the country.  Be sure to go out and get some, ok?


  1. So beautiful and sounds so delicious! At Middle Eastern markets we see mini red/purple grapes labeled Persian grapes that are very tender and I think might work too.
    So what kind of jam did you choose?
    For an 8-inch springform pan, does the filling amount need to be multiplied in the same proportions as the crust?

    1. Faye, thanks for asking about the quantity of the filling for the larger pan. You would increase the Tofutti cream cheese to 12 oz. (1 1/2 containers) and also add another 1/2 package of the silken tofu. I used a combo of cranberry jam and apricot jam which complimented the grapes nicely.

  2. That looks so, so pretty. I really love the champagne grapes, and we could not stop eating them until they were gone! None left to make a cheesecake!

    1. Yes, the champagne grapes were especially delectable this year. I have a funny feeling you may get more and make the cheesecake after all!

  3. Thanks, Nancy. I hope to have a chance to try your recipe with champagne grapes.

  4. I've always loved champagne grapes -- and whether I eat them or not (and I do), they're just so pretty! Lovely to see you today!