I was over at a friend's house a few months ago, and she made the most mouth-watering vegan feta cheese that I have been dying to have again! Unlike some vegan cheeses, this one was super-simple to make, and when I was over at her house I think it was done in less than an hour. It also uses easy-to-find ingredients, doesn't have any crazy cultures, and there is no long prep, so you could enjoy it tonight if you wanted! I was really stunned how easy it was to make, so I vowed to make it myself!
I have been craving the cheese ever since that night, so I set out to recreate it. I found several recipes online, and decided to use this one from The Graceful Kitchen, which is based on the original recipe from Maple Spice blog. The Graceful Kitchen recipe simplifies the original recipe from Maple Spice and does away with refrigeration time, tweaking some of the ingredients to compensate.
Blending all ingredients in the food processor! This is the thick,
paste-like consistency you are looking for.
Basically, you take all your ingredients (almond meal, olive oil, water, fresh lemon juice, garlic, salt) and mix together in a food processor until a thick paste forms, form it into a cheese wheel with a little help from plastic wrap (see below image), and bake it for about 20 minutes! That's it! I won't repost the recipe here since it isn't mine, but you can find the simple recipe on The Graceful Kitchen here. A slightly more complicated recipe can be found on Maple Spice (this one really isn't that complicated, it's just that the cheese rests in the fridge for a while before baking).
Scrape the cheese "dough" from the food processor onto plastic wrap,
then twist and form the cheese into a round shape about 1 1/4 inch thick,
as seen below.
The flattened cheese then goes on parchment paper to be baked
in the oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for about 20 - 25 minutes.
I will say that mine did not turn out as white as the final products from either The Graceful Kitchen or Maple Spice. I purchased my almond meal from the bulk bins, and it was a lot darker due to the bits of outer almond shell that where speckled throughout it. Still, despite its less than creamy appearance, my cheese wheel still turned out pretty tasty! Maybe next time I will find some whiter almond meal so the finished product looks more cheese-like, but for now I'm okay with it's speckled appearance!
I was amazed that I could make my own vegan cheese, especially so easily and with minimal ingredients! It turned out really tasty, and is delicious served with grapes, pears, figs, apples, or spread on crackers or bread.