Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 50 - 55 minutes
Like cheesecake? Hate the huge amount of calories and fat in traditional recipes? Here is an easy to put together recipe in which you can use either reduced fat or fat free versions of the dairy products. It is crustless so a large chunk of calories are absent, but a delicious fruit sauce makes up for the lack of a crust. Light notes of vanilla and lemon are prevalent and the texture is light and fluffy - tastes like it's bad for you, but it isn't. If you can't find fresh cherries, you can use bagged frozen ones or substitute any other fruit of your choice. Blueberry is a particularly good choice.
- 16 oz. reduced fat or fat free ricotta cheese
- 4 oz. (half a package) reduced fat or fat free cream cheese
- 1/2 cup reduced fat or fat free sour cream
- 3 large eggs (or an equivalent amount using egg substitute)
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup flour
- 1/4 tsp. kosher salt
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 tsp. grated lemon zest
- 2 cups fresh or frozen sweet cherries
- 1 tbsp. honey
- 1 tbsp. lemon juice
- 1/2 tsp. unflavored Knox gelatin
- 1 tbsp. warm water
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees and coat a 9-inch springform pan with nonstick cooking spray.
Place the ricotta cheese in a food processor and process until smooth and creamy - this may take a few minutes since store-bought ricotta cheese is almost always gritty in texture. Add the sour cream, cream cheese, eggs, sugar, flour, vanilla, lemon zest and salt. Process until well-blended. Pour into the prepared pan and bake until the center is just set, 50 - 55 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool, then cover and chill for three hours (or until needed).
Put the cherries, honey and lemon juice into a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Remove the pan from the heat. In a small bowl, stir the gelatin into the warm water until it dissolves. Stir the dissolved gelatin into the cherry mixture. Cover and chill for three hours, stirring occasionally, until the mixture is thickened, but not formed to the pan.
After three hours, top the cheesecake with the cherry mixture and serve immediately, or keep covered in the refrigerator for up to three days.
NOTE: Keep in mind that if you use fruits other than cherries, it may take longer than three hours for the mixture to thicken properly. You may also serve the fruit sauce on the side instead of topping the cheesecake with it.