Monday, July 23, 2012
We just returned from a week in the "real world." The blond boy got married and a week in San Diego for the festivities was wonderful. The two Oregon boys drove down with their chicks, and the Alaska boy flew down a couple days after us. A baseball game for the rehearsal dinner and a lovely wedding looking over the beach made for a fun fabulous wedding week. I'll post pictures later, and do a slide show, and a lecture...
The curly haired boy had his birthday last weekend. How did they grow up so fast (and I haven't aged a day!). I was very thankful to be able to spend it with him in California after the blond boy's wedding. We had an amazing week with our kids and families and I'm sorry to be back in Alaska away from the "real world" and the boys.
The curly haired boy loves cheesecake. That is what he wants for his birthday, no regular cake for him. This year I had to purchase a cheesecake since we were in a rental house and had a very busy schedule. But, I love cheesecake too and I don't love all the calories, so I made a lower-fat version that rivals any cheesecake I've ever made.
This cheesecake uses some very smart swaps, like 1% cottage cheese, blended in the food processor until smooth, 1/3 less fat cream cheese and non-fat Greek yogurt. A hit of lemon zest brightens up the flavor and makes it the perfect cheesecake for fresh berries. Even the curly haired boy would love this, and he is picky about his cheesecakes.
adapted from Cook's Illustrated, The Best Light Recipes
7 graham crackers
1 cup fiber one cereal
3 Tbsp. melted butter
1 Tbsp. water
16 oz. 1% cottage cheese
16 oz. 1/3 cream cheese
8 oz. low fat Greek yogurt
1 1/2 c. sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
zest from 1 lemon
1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
3 large eggs, room temp.
Berry topping, optional
1) for the crust: Preheat oven to 325ºF. In food processor, process graham crackers and fiber one until fine crumb stage. With processor running, add melted butter and water, pulse food processor to mix until all crackers are coated. Press into bottom of 9" springform pan. Bake for 10-15 minutes until crust is fragrant and beginning to brown. Cool on wire rack.
Increase oven temp to 500ºF.
2) for the filling: Meanwhile, 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.
Process the drained cottage cheese in a food processor until smooth and no visible lumps remain, about 1 minute, scraping down the work bowl as needed. Add the cream cheese and Greek yogurt and continue to process until smooth. Add the sugar, salt, lemon zest, and vanilla and continue to process until smooth, about 1 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. With the processor running, add the eggs one at a time and continue to process until smooth.
Being careful not to disturb the baked crust, spray the insides of the springform pan with vegetable oil spray. Set the springform pan on a rimmed baking sheet. Pour the processed cheese mixture into the cooled crust.
Bake for 10 minutes. Without opening he oven door, reduce the oven temperature to 200ºF and continue to bake until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center of the cheesecake reads 150ºF, about 1 1/2 hours.
Cool on a wire rack until barely warm 2-3 hours. Run a knife around the edge of the cake and remove the ring. Refrigerate until cold at least 3 hours.
Let cheesecake stand at room temperature for 30 minutes before serving.
Serve with fresh fruit or berries.
July 23, 2012