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Vegan Cranberry & Pistachio Gourmet Dessert Cheese

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vegan Vegan Cranberry & Pistachio Gourmet Dessert Cheese is great for parties

~ high raw, vegan, gluten-free ~

This is my play on cheese and crackers.  Take your favorite small mold (and I am not talking fungi here), press in the cracker crust, pour in the cranberry and pistachio agar cheese… allow it to set, and there you have it… the perfect one-bite-wonder.

You can always create some without the cracker crust for variety. I really like to use silicone molds since the little cheese morsels pop right out,  You could also use a mini muffin pan, lining it with a cupcake liner.

Another idea is to use a baking pan, perhaps an 8 x 8″.  Press the cracker crust into the bottom of the pan and pour the cheese mixture on top, chill and when the cheese often stirring, you can cut it into bite-sized squares.

I found the colors of the red, plump cranberries, crunchy, salted pistachios and fresh rosemary to look quite festive and colorful.  I will admit that I didn’t use raw pistachios in this recipe… only by mistake.  And I used cranberries that were sweetened, but only with fruit juice.

Anyway, I won’t keep you long here.  It’s the holiday season, and we all have plenty to do.  The great thing about this recipe is that you can make these a few days prior to your holiday gathering, thus taking some of the stress off of you as you prepare a buffet of food.  I don’t recommend freezing them though.  In the past, I have found that when agar based cheese thaws, it isn’t all fresh tasting.  Enjoy and Happy Holidays!

Vegan Cranberry & Pistachio Gourmet Dessert Cheese shaped in many different moldsIngredients:

Cracker crust:

Cheese base:

Agar gel:



Cracker crust:

  1. Place the walnuts into the food processor, fitted with the “S” blade and process to a small crumble.
  2. Add the dates, salt, and process until the mixture sticks together when pinched.
  3. Press the crust into the molds and set aside.

Cheese base:

  1. Have the “cheese” mold(s) set aside and ready.  You don’t need to oil or line the mold if using silicone ones.  If you use a mini muffin pan, use cupcake liners.  This will make 2 cups worth of cheese.  Keep in mind that whatever impressions are in your container… it will leave that impression on your cheese.
  2. Soak the cashews, rinse and drain.  The purpose of this step is just to soften them, so they blend into a smooth texture.  You can use sunflower seeds in place of the cashews if you prefer.
  3. In a high-speed blender place the cashews, orange juice, water, agave, nutritional yeast, miso, and salt.  Blend until it reaches a smooth consistency.  This can take several minutes, depending on the blender.
  4. In a small pan combine water and agar.  Bring to a boil then reduce the heat and simmer, stirring often with a whisk, until completely dissolved, about 5 to 10 minutes.
  5. Once the agar gel is ready, turn the blender on, creating a vortex in the batter, quickly add the cranberries, pistachios and the agar gel. Process until combined, scraping down the sides of the blender jar as necessary.  You will need to move quickly.  Agar sets up fast.
  6. Pour the batter into the containers that are set aside and cool uncovered in the refrigerator for 15-30 minutes.  They are now ready to consume!
  7. Store covered the fridge for up to 5-7 days.

close up of Vegan Cranberry & Pistachio Gourmet Dessert Cheese

15 thoughts on “Vegan Cranberry & Pistachio Gourmet Dessert Cheese

  1. Lesley says:

    This looks awesome. You rock!

  2. Anne-Marie says:

    Hi Amie-Su, so long time ago, the year went over soo quick.
    How are you? Do you take the wheatgrass juice now? Thank you so much for this wonderful recipe and the beautiful presentation! You are a food artist!
    I will try this recipe right this week as I have all ingredients at home except the chick pea miso I never heard about. I hope white miso will do it. I hope you are in good health and look forward hearing from you. Feel free to send me a mail when you are coming to Switzerland… many greeting and hugs from the Geneva lake, Anne-Marie

    • amie-sue says:

      Good morning Anne-Marie,

      It is so wonderful to hear from you! I hope that time has been treating you well. :) So hard to believe that we are close to wrapping this year up already. It’s been a wonderful year full of ups and downs… most of all learning to embrace each “turn” and rejoicing in the blessings that come from them. :) I haven’t been partaking of wheatgrass. Just the other day I shared a story with my little sister how I cut my complete fingernail off in a knife course and how I healed it through soaking my nail bed in wheatgrass!

      Again, a pure joy hearing from you. Have a blessed holiday and do keep in touch. And you better believe that you will get an email when we head that direction. We are “itching” more and more to take such a trip. Blessings and hugs, amie sue

      • Anne-Marie says:

        Dear Amie-Sue, believe me it’s my joy to get your answer and read you. I appreciate so much that you take time to answer so quickly and with such a lovely message! This touches me deeply and I am delighted and grateful to know such a marvelous and special person you are!
        What a story with your nail bed, I am suffering for you even though it’s already past! Hope you recovered totally. Wheatgrass juice is pure gold in my eyes. My baker grows it for his employees since he tried it himself and since they are always tired. :) Many other things happened this year, sad ones but also good ones as my younger son (working with love with authistic persons) came into contact again with me… So…, as Christmas is coming already in some days (incredible, can’t believe it!), it’s my turn to wish you the most wonderful holiday season with your loved ones, plenty of joy, peace and happiness and in the hope to see you next year in Switzerland, with love, Anne-Marie

        • amie-sue says:

          Thank you Anne Marie. Your kinds words will drift off to sleep with me. I had a really strange day today and I am ready for it to be over. hehe Ever have those days? Off to slumber land I go. Merry Christmas again to you. :) P.S. my nail is perfect… it healed completely.

  3. aliyah says:

    Hi Amie sue Ive been making several of your cheeses they are great.I want to make this one and I would like to know where you got the molds from.

    • amie-sue says:

      Hello Aliyah,

      I pick the molds up all over… I have a true love for kitchen gadgets so I am forever keeping an eye out for them. You can type into the Amazon search “silicon molds” and you will have hours of lovely ones to scan through. :) Have fun! amie sue

  4. aliyah says:

    Hi again Amie Sue, Well I ordered the molds from Amazon,boy you weren’t kidding when you said hours of scanning.They arrived today and im ready to make them.My question is ….I have agar flakes what would be the measurement for that. P.S I made the creamy onion soup it was delicious even thou I left the onions in dehydrater to long and they were crispy it did not diminish the taste. Also I have not been receiving the recipes. The only one I have gotten is the monkey brittle

    • amie-sue says:

      Good afternoon Aliyah,

      Regarding recipe post emails… did you get the last one for the blueberry pie?

      I could spend hours looking at those molds, you ought to see my Amazon wish list. lol

      As far as the agar. 1 teaspoon agar powder = 1 tablespoon agar flakes = 1/2 agar bar. Therefore instead of 1 Tbsp of powder you will need 3 Tbsp of agar flakes.

      So thankful that your soup turned out. I was just talking to my mom about making raw caramelized onions and how I made a raw ice cream with them… it was so good. hehe

      Merry Christmas and many blessings, amie sue

  5. aliyah says:

    Hi Amie Sue,no i havent gotten the one for blueberry pie or eggnog.Just the monkey brittle.

    • amie-sue says:

      Well that is very odd. I removed you and then added you back as a subscriber to see if that fixes it. Either way, not sure why this is happening. I will be doing a post tomorrow night so you should get one Wed. morning. Let me know. Blessings, amie sue

  6. Pardita says:

    Can this be made without miso ? Also thinking of substituting cashews with almonds. Would that work ?
    Love Pardita

    • amie-sue says:

      Hello Pardita,

      Sure, you could skip the miso. I use chickpea white miso for the flavor, umami, and nutritional value. I haven’t tested it with almonds but I don’t see why not. I would soak and remove the skins from them first though so you don’t end up with brown flecks in the cheese. Blessings, amie sue

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