Gluten Free Pizza With Cashew Cheese

I am putting this recipe here for my daughter who has Celiac and EOE, but I think it might be of interest to others as well. As prepared below, this recipe is also vegan. We were introduced to the dairy-like nature of cashew cheese at the outstanding Christopher’s Kitchen in Palm Beach Gardens, FL. I found a recipe for cashew cheese at One Green Planet, and modified it to generate the recipe below.

  1. Put the following in a high speed blender:
    • 1/4 cup raw cashews (whole or pieces fine)
    • 1 tablespoon olive oil
    • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 2 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon tapioca starch
    • 1 cup hot water (tap is fine)

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2. Blend on the highest speed for 2 minutes. The mixture should be free of any chunks and resemble chalky milk.

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3. Transfer to a saucepan and heat on the stove-top medium high. Stir constantly with a wooden spoon. In a few minutes, it will start to congeal and resemble curdled milk.

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4. Turn heat to medium, and continue to stir vigorously until it is uniformly thickened. Remove from heat and continue to stir for another minute. This can now be used immediately or allowed to cool.

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5. For the pizza crust, we use frozen gluten-free crusts from our local Kroger. We are fond of the Kinnikinnick brand. They also make great gluten free Oreos!

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6. Add pizza sauce to the frozen crust. We use a store-bought brand which is gluten free (as are most brands of pizza sauce).

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7. Glob on the congealed mass of cashew cheese. It is not easy to work with the cashew cheese at this stage because it is thick and extraordinarily viscous. I put on a big blob of cheese on the pizza and work it into shape using two forks. Add whatever spices you wish such as oregano to top the pizza. We really like sprinkling herbes de Provence on top.

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8. Put the pizza in an oven pre-heated to 450F directly on the rack. Cook for 9 minutes and check if the cheese is browned. Cook longer as needed with careful attention so that it does not burn. Remove from oven and let cool slightly before cutting. The cashew cheese after cooking is remarkably similar in texture and taste to real cheese. We find it to be almost indistinguishable from real cheese pizza. Enjoy!

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