This vegan cheesecake is just as creamy and tangy as the conventional versions thanks to cultured nut-based cream cheese from Miyoko's Creamery, founded by vegan visionary Miyoko Schinner. For the cheesecake base, the agar must reach a temperature of 208°F to be activated and ultimately set. Don't worry if you don't have a thermometer-just keep the lid on the pot for 3 to 4 minutes until the agar has dissolved thoroughly, and then check the texture. When the agar runs off a rubber spatula without sticking, it's ready to use.
Crowned with candied pistachios and draped in tart, glistening cranberry gelée, Claudia Fleming's holiday cheesecake is extra creamy thanks to a combination of tangy goat cheese and marscapone. Be sure to beat in the mascarpone at low speed to preserve its extra-smooth texture. Don’t skip straining the cranberry mixture after adding the gelatin; removing the foam is key to a clear, glossy gelée.
Hidden beneath a mound of juicy summer berries (Bopp uses native huckleberries, but blueberries are fine), a thin layer of sweetened sour cream crowns this luscious no-fuss cheesecake based on his great-grandmother’s recipe. Dollop the fluffy batter into the pan gently for the best results.