This recipe is an ode to my pre-vegan cheese loving self! My go-to dish to bring to holiday parties (or really any party for that matter) used to be brie with blackberries, pear and thyme. Around this time of year I always get a craving for something nutty, fruity and sweet to enjoy on some freshly toasted baguette (of course paired with a little bit o’ wine)! So, I decided to create a plant-based version of my beloved dish. A version that wouldn’t leave me or my family/friends feeling terrible after devouring! Cheese is good, but you have to admit you don’t always feel great after indulging. *Hello post-cheese bloat!*
The majority of the “cheese” base is made of cashews, and the sweet and crunchy topping is the perfect compliment. For the topping I used pistachios, fresh blackberries, fresh thyme, Crispy Green freeze-dried Asian pears & just a kiss of maple. But feel free to sub the fruit/nuts with your favorite combo, this one just happens to be my all-time favorite!
Enjoy my friends!
- 2½ cups cashews (soaked for 4-6 hours) *
- ½ cup melted coconut oil
- 2 Tablespoons brown rice flour
- ¼ cup hemp seeds
- 1½ Tablespoons maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ⅛ teaspoon Himalayan salt
- 5-6 sprigs fresh thyme
- ¼ cup pistachios
- ½ cup fresh blackberries
- 1 package Crispy Green freeze-dried Asian Pears
- Soak cashews in water for 4-6 hours / or 2 hours in hot water.
- Add melted coconut oil, brown rice flour and half of the cashews into food processor/high powered blender. Blend on low until combined.
- Keep blender on low speed and add in maple, 2-3 sprigs fresh thyme, cinnamon, Himalayan salt, hemp seeds and maple syrup, blend until combined.
- Add in remaining cashews and continue to blend on medium speed for an additional 2 minutes.
- Line a 9 inch round baking dish with parchment paper. ( I cut two strips of the parchment paper large enough to cover inner surface and place them in an "x" shape. Makes removing the cheese easier when it's finished.)
- Pour mixture into dish, give it a few slight taps onto the counter to make sure the mixture sinks completely into the mold-- then smooth out the top.
- Place in fridge for at least 4 hours.
- While mold is setting up, you can prepare your topping. Using kitchen sheers, cut up freeze-dried pears into small bite size pieces, mix in with ¼ cup pistachios and 2-3 sprigs fresh thyme.
- Take mold out of the fridge 10 minutes before you are ready to serve.
- And add the pear/thyme & pistachio mixture to the top of the cashew brie, then finish off with fresh blackberries and drizzle with maple.
*Please note- the mold will continue to soften as it sits out. If you notice it getting too soft, toss it in the fridge for about 10 minutes and place back on table.
*Serve with sliced, toasted baguette or crackers!
* Leftovers can be covered and placed in the fridge- will last for about a week.
* Thanks so much to my friends over at Crispy Green foods, for providing me with these delicious freeze-dried pears & for sponsoring this post.