This mini gluten-free Cheesecake in a Jar is a perfectly decandent dessert to pack for your next camping trip.
It’s camping season here on the West Coast and if this stretch of PERFECT weather holds, we’ll be doing a lot more of it. “Camping” means different things to different people: backpacking and sleeping on the ground, kayaking and sleeping on a secluded beach, or taking off in a fully equipped RV. In my case, it’s boat-camping: finding a quiet cove in which to anchor for the night.
I used to love to go tent camping, or at least I loved the idea of it. In reality, however, we were often downright miserable. We would squish three kids in the back seat of a station wagon, cram our gear in the back, strap an overloaded roof rack on top and invariably end up in the pouring rain wondering when the fun would begin. I recall one particular trip in which my hubby became noticeably
silent sullen after trying to pound plastic tent pegs into ground that was as hard as concrete. Later on, after washing the dishes in lukewarm water in a plastic tub, he commented, “I just don’t get it. I built you a big beautiful house and you want to play house in the woods?!”
Camping has changed for us now. It’s become “glamping” as we add a little glamour to our overnight adventures on our boat. I’m not ashamed to admit that I like sleeping in nice bedding instead of a lumpy sleeping bag. I like being able to charge my phone, make a cup of herbal tea and have ice in my drinks. But most of all, I like the fact that outhouses are a thing of the past now that our new boat has a head on it.
Preparing food for a small refrigerator can be challenging. We like to avoid packaged foods when we are cooking at home, and we like to do the same when we travel. Cooking “from scratch” allows us to avoid resorting to store-bought or junk food when we go away. We like seeing, chopping, mixing and cooking our ingredients before we eat them. This recipe for cheesecake allows us to have a sumptuous dessert with our “glamping” meals. I make a batch, take what we need, and freeze the rest for future trips. These stayed in perfect non-nom worthy condition on our last trip.
Gluten-free Cheesecake in a Jar
Makes about 14 125ml (1/2 cup) jars
1 cup blanched almond flour (almond meal will work, too)
1 Tbsp. maple syrup
2 Tbsp. coconut oil, melted
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon sea salt
8 oz. brick of cream cheese (regular or reduced-fat) at room temperature
8 ounces fresh soft goat cheese at room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest (use a microplane to grate it finely)
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
6 large eggs, separated
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour (or gluten-free flour)
1 cup berries of your choice: blueberries, Saskatoon berries, raspberries
1-2 Tbsp. honey, depending on the sweetness of your berries
1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
Preheat oven to 350F.
Wash and dry 12-14 125ml (1/2 cup) mason jars. Set aside.
Process all ingredients in a food processor until well mixed. Press about 1 Tbsp. into the bottom of each mason jar, smoothing it out with the back of a spoon.
- Using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat cream cheese, goat cheese, lemon zest, lemon juice, vanilla, and 3/4 cup sugar in a large bowl until smooth and creamy, about 3 minutes.
- Add egg yolks two at a time, beating to blend and scraping down sides of bowl between additions. Reduce speed to low, add flour, and mix just until blended.
- Using clean, dry beaters, beat egg whites in a medium bowl until soft peaks form. Fold 1/4 of egg whites into goat cheese mixture just until blended; fold in remaining egg whites just until blended.
- Carefully spoon the cheese mixture into the jars, leaving at least 1/2 inch headroom. Put the jars on a baking sheet and bake at 350F for 25 minutes or just beginning to brown around the edges.
- Turn the oven off, open the door and let the cheesecakes sit in the oven for about 10 minutes. Remove and cool on a wire rack. They will very likely fall, but don’t despair. You need room in that tiny jar for the berry topping.
Combine the berries, honey and lemon juice in a small saucepan and heat gently over medium heat until hot and just beginning to bubble. Remove from heat and cool completely. Spoon over the completely cooled cheesecakes, top with a lid and refrigerate or freeze for your next camping trip.