Skyr is a wonderfully smooth & creamy Icelandic style of yogurt cheese that is high in protein and is also fat-free! Because it is so creamy, it suits being made into a light and airy cheesecake – a no-bake blueberry version that looks stunning on your table after a sunset supper outdoors – how wholesome!
Low-fat, gluten-free, no refined sugar.
Makes one 9-inch (23 cm) cheesecake.
Prep Time: 90 minutes, plus resting the skyr (1 day).
To make the skyr, pour the milk into a heavy-bottomed pot and heat up to 195ºF (90ºC) stirring occasionally (this can take 30-40 minutes – do not rush this and risking scorching the milk). Remove the pot from the heat and let the milk cool to 110ºF (43ºC) – this takes about 20-30 minutes.
Ladle about a cup (250 mL) of the milk into the skyr or yogurt and whisk, and then add this back to the pot of milk, whisking well. Use an eye dropper to measure the rennet into the warm water, stir and then pour this into the milk, whisking to combine. Pour the milk into a stainless steel or glass bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let sit out on the counter for 12 hours.
Place a large strainer over a bowl and line the strainer with dampened cheesecloth. Spoon all of the milk curd into the strainer, cover with plastic wrap and chill the skyr for 8-12 hours as it drains. A lot of whey (clear liquid) will drain away, so you may have to change out the draining bowl once or twice (the whey can be saved for smoothies). After draining, the skyr can be stored refrigerated for up to 2 weeks.
For the blueberry sauce, bring 1 1/2 cups (375 mL) of the blueberries up to a simmer over medium heat with the maple syrup, lemon zest, lemon juice and cardamom, stirring often, until the blueberries are tender, about 10 minutes. Purée this mixture, then add the remaining 1 1/2 cups (375 mL) of blueberries and stir over medium heat for just a minute (but do not overcook). Strain off 1/2 cup (125 mL) of the blueberry liquid (not the berries) to use in the filling, and then chill both until ready to use.
For the cheesecake crust, pulse the almonds, dates, coconut, cinnamon and cardamom in a food processor until the almonds are quite finely chopped (but they will still be visible and have texture). Add the maple syrup and pulse until the mixture comes together in a ball. Press this into the bottom of a 9-inch (23-cm) greased springform pan that has the sides lined with parchment paper. Chill while preparing the filling.
For the filling, Place the milk in a small saucepan and sprinkle the gelatin (or agar powder) over and stir in. Let this sit a minute, then heat it on medium and stir until the gelatin has dissolved, about 2 minutes. (If using agar, then heat the milk over medium until it reaches a boil, and then simmer while whisking for a full minute to activate it.) Set the pan aside to cool to room temperature – but the time you complete the other steps, the milk will be cooled.
Whisk the skyr, 1/4 cup (60 mL) of the maple syrup and the vanilla to smooth it out and, if there are lumps visible, whisk the skyr through a mesh strainer to ensure it is lump-free. Whisk in the reserved 1/2 cup (125 mL) or strained blueberry sauce and lemon zest and set aside.
Place the egg whites and remaining ¼ cup (65 mL) of maple syrup into a metal bowl and place this over a pot of gently simmering water, whisking until the whites are warm and reach a temperature of 160ºF (71ºC). Using electric beaters or pouring the whites into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whip attachment, whip the whites on high speed until they hold a stiff peak when the beaters are lifted.
Whisk the cooled milk into the skyr and fold in the egg whites in two additions. Pour the filling into the pan and chill, uncovered, for at least 6 hours.
When ready to serve, remove the cheesecake from the pan and peel away the parchment. Spoon some of the blueberry sauce on top of the cake (save to rest of the sauce to serve on the side) and dot the cheesecake with fresh blueberries, blackberries and mint leaves. If making the cheesecake well in advance, avoid putting on the blueberry sauce until 4-5 hours within serving.
The cheesecake will keep, refrigerated, for up to 3 days.