S pinned a recipe for this, but in my wanderings on Pinterest, I came across the America’s Test Kitchens (ATK) recipe for lowfat cheesecake. How can this NOT be good? It’s America’s Test Kitchen! They perfect EVERYTHING!
Mine wasn’t…perfect… Can I just say I HATE my oven? *note to self get oven thermometer* I don’t have a plated picture of this. We devoured it even though it wasn’t perfect. 1.5 hours in my oven curdled it. But it was YUMMY! I will be experimenting with round 2 today.
While these are draining, I made the crust. I preheated the oven to 325 and then crumbled one box of World Table chocolate wafer cookies in a food processor. Then I added 2 T of Parkay butter spray and processed until a dough formed. This was pressed into an 8 inch spring form pan. The crust went into the oven at 325 for 8 minutes and then allowed to cool completely.
While the crust was baking, I put 1 1/2 cups of cranberries into a small saucepan and added 1/2 cup of sugar, and 3 tablespoons of water. The recipe calls for 1/4 cup of raspberry liquor, but I didn’t have that. I improvised. A co-worker gave me some raspberry tea cordial (I really don’t know what that is. I’m guessing it’s raspberry tea brewed and added to everclear?) So, I used that with a few drops of raspberry extract. Not too much to make it overpowering. I brought this mixture to a boil and then simmered until the berries popped open and the syrup thickened. I removed the pan from heat and once it was cooled I processed it until smooth.
Once the yogurt and cottage chese were drained, I put both into a food processor and processed until smooth. I whipped the 16 ounces of lowfat neufchatel cheese with 1 1/2 cup of sugar and beat with a hand mixer until smooth. I added a small amount of the cottage cheese mixture to the cream cheese mixture, sort of like tempering eggs; just to lighten it up and make it easier for the remaining cottage cheese mixture to be incorporated and remain smooth.
Once the two were combined, then I added 1 tablespoon of grated orange zest (which I ALWAYS have on hand…), 1 tablespoon of vanilla extract, and 3 large eggs; beating after each one until combined. Then I pured the mixture into the prepared spring form pan with the chocolate cookie crust. Then I poured the cranberry mixture over top and swirled it around. This didn’t look so pretty when I did it.
Now, here’s where the directions will SERIOUSLY vary with each oven and it’s….let’s call them quirks. The ATK directions say, “…increase the oven temperature to 500 degrees…Pour the processed cheese mixture into the cooled crust and bake for 10 minutes.
5. 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, about 1 hour and 30 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through baking.”
Yeah, not so much with my oven. It’s craptastic. After the 1.5 hours, the cheesecake was curdled. When I rotated it at the halfway point, there was still considerable jiggle. *shrug* That’s why there’s no gorgeous, plated piece of cheesecake. However, this is what it looked like AFTER it was cooked.
It wasn’t so much creamy, but it did taste good. The cranberry topping was the perfect combination of tartness and sweetness. Of course, now I have half a bag of them in my fridge. I may just make the syrup and freeze it for later.
I’ll be trying to perfect this method with my oven…*sighs @ electric* Such is the life of a cliff-dweller.
- 6 oz chocolate cookies
- 2 T Parkay butter spray
- 16 oz yogurt, nonfat
- 16 oz cottage cheese, low fat
- 16 oz cream cheese, low fat (Neufchatel)
- 1 1/2 c sugar
- 1 T vanilla extract
- 1 T orange zest, grated
- 1/4 t salt
- 3 eggs, large
For Cranberry Swirl
- 1 1/2 c cranberries, fresh
- 1/2 c sugar
- 1/4 c raspberry liqueur (Chambord)
- 3 t water
For the yogurt cheese
For the filling:
For the swirl: