Monday, June 24, 2013

To Compete Well, Eat Well - No Cheese Lemon Cheesecake

Everyone loves cheesecake. Absolutely 100% of the population. Cheesecake is a naughty, naughty dessert that we all feel guilty after consuming, so I thought I would test out some alternatives. Greek yogurt to the rescue (Greek yogurt is like the duct tape of food, right?!) Nothing can beat the real thing, but this recipe gets pretty close. Perfect for a summer splurge or a post-workout reward! I see a 4th of July party recipe in your future...

Where's the cheese? Who cares! (photo Yahoo! Shine)

No-Cheese Lemon Cheesecake

Graham Cracker Crust:
1 ½ cups graham cracker crumbs (6-8 whole crackers)
¼ cup sugar
¼ cup melted butter (plus 1-2 tsp for preparing pan)

Preheat oven to 300° F. Break graham crackers and place in food processor.* Pulse until ground into medium-fine crumbs. Put into medium mixing bowl, and stir in butter and sugar. Turn out into a buttered nine-inch springform pan and, using your fingers, press mixture into an even crust along the bottom. You can also use a buttered glass pie plate and form the crumbs into a traditional crust along the bottom and up the sides. Bake for 10-15 minutes until firm and dry. Remove from oven and set on a wire rack.

Lemon Greek Yogurt Filling:
4 eggs
¾ cup sugar
1 tbs. cornstarch (or 2 tbs. flour)
¼ tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 cups plain Greek Yogurt (whole or 2%)
1 tbs. fresh lemon juice (or key lime)
1 tsp. lemon zest (or key lime)

Pulse eggs a few times to beat (or use an electric mixer). Pulse in sugar, cornstarch, salt, vanilla, and yogurt until light and slightly bubbly. Add lemon and lemon zest and pulse or beat briefly to incorporate. Pour mixture into prepared crust (it's fine if the crust is still warm).

Place in center of oven. Start checking cheesecake after 50 minutes and then every 5-10 minutes after that. Shake pan gently. The filling should look creamy but firm at the edges, and still appear slightly jiggly in the center. It will firm up as it cools. Remove from oven and set on a wire rack. Cool to room temperature. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours (or overnight) before serving. (Recipe adapted from Yahoo! Shine.)

Top with your favorite berries! Here is a naughty but yummy lemon glaze that I used - it really brightens up all of the flavors and adds a little zing!

Lemon Glaze (via Taste of Home:)
2 eggs
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 tablespoons grated lemon peel
6 tablespoons butter, melted
Fresh raspberries, strawberries, blueberries, etc.

In a small heavy saucepan, whisk the eggs, sugar, lemon juice and peel until blended. Add butter; cook, whisking constantly, until mixture is thickened and coats the back of a metal spoon. Add food coloring if desired. Transfer to a small bowl; cool for 10 minutes. Cover and refrigerate until chilled. Spread glaze over cheesecake; top with fruit if desired. 

I made baby cheesecakes with store bought crusts too - still delicious!

1 comment:

  1. Yum! Lemons make everything taste so good, especially frostings