Light New York Cheesecake
from the Episode: Lighter Desserts
Be sure to use light cream cheese, which is commonly sold in tubs. Donít confuse light cream cheese with Neufchatel cheese, which is sold in blocks and is higher in fat. Allowing the cottage cheese to drain on towels for at least 30 minutes will ensure a firm cheesecake. You can buy yogurt cheese (also called Labne) or make your own, (see related recipe). If making your own cheese, you will need to allow at least 12 hours for the yogurt to drain. You can substitute fat free cream cheese for the yogurt cheese, but the cheesecake will have a slightly firmer texture.
This recipe was published in The Best Light Recipe.
9 whole graham crackers (5 ounces), broken into rough pieces and processed in a food processor to fine even crumbs (about 1 1/4 cups)
4 tablespoons unsalted butter (1/2 stick), melted
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 pound 1% cottage cheese
1 pound light cream cheese , at room temperature
8 ounces yogurt cheese (see note)
1/4 teaspoon table salt
1 1/2 cups sugar (10 1/2 ounces)
1/2 - 1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
3 large eggs , at room temperature
Vegetable cooking spray
Fresh Strawberry Topping
1 pound fresh strawberries , hulled and cut lengthwise into 1/4- to 3/8-inch wedges
1/4 cup sugar
Pinch table salt
1/2 cup strawberry jam
1. For the crust: Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 325 degrees. Mix the graham cracker crumbs, melted butter, and sugar together in a medium bowl. Transfer the mixture to a 9-inch springform pan and press evenly into the pan bottom. Bake the crust until fragrant and beginning to brown, 10 to 15 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack while preparing the filling.
2. For the filling: Increase the oven temperature to 500 degrees. Line a medium bowl with a clean dish towel or several layers of paper towels. Spoon the cottage cheese into the bowl and let drain for 30 minutes.
3. Process the drained cottage cheese in a food processor until smooth and no visible lumps remain, about 1 minute, scraping down the work bowl once or twice. Add the cream cheese and yogurt cheese and process until smooth, 1 to 2 minutes, scraping down the work bowl once or twice. Add the salt, sugar, lemon zest, and vanilla and continue to process until smooth, about 1 minute, scraping down the work bowl once or twice. With the processor running, add the eggs, one at a time and process until smooth.
4. Being careful to not disturb the baked crust, spray the sides of the springform pan with vegetable oil spray. Set the springform pan on a rimmed baking sheet. Pour the filling into the cooled crust and bake 10 minutes. Without opening the oven door, reduce the oven temperature to 200 degrees and continue to bake until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center of the cheesecake reads 150 degrees, 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
5. Transfer the cake to a wire rack, and run a paring knife around the edge of the cake. Let cool until barely warm, 2 1/2 to 3 hours, running a paring knife around the edge of the cake every hour or so. Wrap the pan tightly in plastic wrap, and refrigerate until cold, at least 3 hours.
6. To unmold the cheesecake, wrap a hot kitchen towel around the springform pan and let stand for 10 minutes. Remove the sides of the pan and blot any excess moisture from the top of the cheesecake with paper towels. Let the cheesecake stand at room temperature about 30 minutes, then cut into wedges.
8. For the Topping: Toss the berries, sugar, and salt in a medium bowl and let stand until the berries have released some juice and the sugar has dissolved, about 30 minutes, tossing occasionally to combine.
9. Process the jam in a food processor until smooth, about 8 seconds. Transfer the jam to a small saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Simmer, stirring frequently, until dark and no longer frothy, about 3 minutes. Stir in the lemon juice, then gently stir the warm jam into the strawberries. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until cold, at least 2 hours or up to 12. To serve, spoon a portion of sauce over individual slices of cheesecake.
PER SERVING: Cal 340; Fat 13 g; Sat fat 8 g; Chol 85 mg; Carb 41 g; Protein 11 g; Fiber 0 g; Sodium 530 mg
PER SERVING WITH TOPPING: Cal 400; Fat 13 g; Sat fat 8 g; Chol 85mg; Carb 57 g; Protein 11 g; Fiber 1 g; Sodium 540 mg