I found this recipe in USA Weekend as I was sorting the mail. I don’t always flip through this paper, but I’m glad I did because as soon as I saw the recipe, I wanted to make it. It’s an Ellie Krieger recipe, so it’s a healthier than your standard cheesecake. I happened to have all of the ingredients, so I decided to make it that weekend for Dinner and a Movie and our friend’s 20th Doctorversary. The cheesecake calls for a glaze with fresh berries, but I knew Chuck (and the rest of us) would appreciate chocolate peanut butter more, so I went ahead and reneged on some of the healthiness of the recipe.
It was worth it.
You’ll notice that my finished cheesecakes aren’t in a springform pan or on a platter. I poured the batter into my springform pan and put it in the oven. I realized that I never put the oven thermometer in our oven once we moved so I went to find it so I could see whether this oven was accurate (most ovens range 5-25 degrees one way or the other). I found it in the garage (?) and when I opened the oven to stick it in, I saw that my springform pan was leaking batter! I yanked the pan out and quickly scraped the batter into a bowl. I messed around trying to adjust the springform, but it wouldn’t hold water so I threw it in the garbage. I sprayed two pie dishes with cooking spray and then decided to toss some gluten free ginger snap crumbs into one of the pans to form a sort of crust. I wouldn’t bother with this next time, but it was a nice try. Once I poured the batter back into the pans, I put them back in the oven. Since they were two smaller cheesecakes instead of one regular, I reduced the cooking time slightly. It worked just fine to bake them in these pans. It wasn’t as thick and I could remove it from the pan like normal, but the taste was the same. Thank goodness I decided to find that oven thermometer! Crisis averted…
Creamy Ricotta Cheesecake
inspired by Ellie Krieger’s recipe from USA Weekend
- cooking spray
- 15 oz container of part skim ricotta cheese
- 1/2 cup plain greek yogurt
- 4 oz. reduced fat cream cheese (neufchatel)
- 3 large eggs
- 3/4 cups evaporated cane juice or sugar
- 1/4 cup gluten free flour (I used Jules)
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 tsp. finely grated lemon zest (see tip at bottom if you don’t have a zester)
- 1/4 tsp. salt
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Coat a 9 inch springform pan with cooking spray. Place the ricotta in a mixing bowl or food processor, and beat with an electric mixer, or process, until smooth and creamy. Add greek yogurt, cream cheese, eggs, sugar, flour, vanilla, lemon zest, and salt, and continue to mix until well blended. Pour into prepared pan and bake until the center is just set, 50-55 minutes.
Transfer to a wire rack to cool, then cover and chill in the fridge for at least 3 hours before removing in from the pan. The cheesecake will be about 2 inches high.
Chocolate Peanut Butter Topping
Reese’s Peanut Butter Minis
Melt chocolate chips in microwave, stirring every 15-20 seconds. Crush Reese’s and sprinkle over cheesecake. Drizzle chocolate over cheesecake. Allow to harden in fridge or serve while chocolate is still warm.
Cherry Wine Sauce
2 cups pitted sweet cherries
1/2 cup white wine (we were probably drinking chardonnay or pinot grigio
1/4 – 1/2 cup evaporated cane juice or sugar, depending on how sweet you want
juice of a quarter of a lemon
Add all ingredients to a saucepan and bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally. Simmer until reduced and thickened, about 5 minutes. This is also excellent on greek yogurt or in oatmeal.
I don’t have a lemon zester, so I just use a vegetable peeler to peel the lemon, avoiding the bitter white pith. Once I have enough pieces peeled off, I chop them finely with a knife.