Sunrabbit's Vegan Cashew Jack

READY IN: 8hrs 5mins
SERVES: 30
YIELD: 30 oz.
UNITS: US

INGREDIENTS

Nutrition
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DIRECTIONS

  • Prepare a container to use as your cheese mold. You may use anything, but somewhat flexible plastic will allow the cheese to come out cleanly once it has cooled.
  • Mix 1/2 cup water (not included in ingredient list) with the (smaller) calcium packet from the Pomona's Pectin package. Set aside.
  • Combine the (larger) packet of dry pectin, agar-agar powder, and water in a blender. Measure out your lemon juice and set it aside.
  • Pour blended mixture into a small saucepan and bring to boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Turn heat to low and let simmer for about five minutes.
  • While your water mixture is simmering, Process cashews, nutritional yeast, salt, onion powder, and garlic powder in your blender until they resemble a fine powder (don't overdue it or you'll end up with a savory cashew butter). Pour powder into a bowl and set aside.
  • Once your boiled water mixture has simmered for about five minutes (enough to dissolve the agar-agar completely), pour it into your blender and IMMEDIATELY add ground cashew powder and lemon juice; blend until completely smooth and creamy (if you have a Blendtec, use the Soup button). Before it thickens, add the calcium/water mixture and process again until it's fully incorporated. Immediately pour the hot cheese into your prepared container.
  • Refrigerate uncovered for 1-2 hours, then turn the cheese out onto a plate and let set (uncovered) in the fridge for another 4-5 hours. Once fully cooled and set, slice or shred and serve!
  • NOTE: I know the instructions seem fussy (and you might be considering taking some short cuts)--but there is a good reason for the specific directions! The final mixture is thick and will be thickening quickly as it begins to cool--if you follow directions exactly, you have the best chance of getting all the powder incorporated into the liquid before the mixture is too thick to blend. I started out leaving the powdered mixture in the blender and pouring the boiled water mixture on top, but this resulted in pockets of un-blended powder in my finished block of cashew cheese. It still tasted good, but the texture was a bit lumpy. Beware! ;).
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