This cheesecake is creamy and rich tasting, but significantly lower in saturated fat and calories than most recipes because pureed low-fat cottage cheese is substituted for much of the cream cheese. It is hard to believe that you can “bake” a cheesecake in a pressure cooker in just 20 minutes, but remember that cheesecake is essentially a custard and is traditionally cooked in the moist environment of a water bath. If you don’t have a pressure cooker, you can bake the cheesecake conventionally in the oven.
Special Equipment: Food processor, 8-inch spring-form pan, aluminum foil. If using a pressure cooker: 6-quart or larger pressure cooker and trivet. If baking in the oven: shallow roasting pan.
4 ounces trans-fat-free whole-wheat graham crackers (15 (2 x 2 ¼-inch) crackers)
3 tablespoons canola oil
1 tablespoon sugar
1 (16-ounce) container low-fat (1%) cottage cheese (2 cups)
1 (8-ounce) package reduced-fat cream cheese (Neufchatel), cut into pieces
½ cup sugar
¼ cup mild honey
2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 teaspoons freshly grated lemon zest
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
1. Coat an 8-inch spring-form pan with cooking spray.
2. To make crust: Place graham crackers in a food processor; pulse into fine crumbs. (You should have ¾ cup crumbs.) Add oil and sugar; pulse to blend. Press crumb mixture evenly over bottom and part way up sides of prepared pan. (Wash and dry food processor work bowl.)
3. To make filling: Place cottage cheese in food processor; process until very smooth and silky, stopping to scrape down sides of work bowl once or twice. Add cream cheese and process until smooth. Add sugar, honey, cornstarch, lemon zest, lemon juice, and vanilla; process until well blended. Add eggs and pulse several times just until mixed in. Scrape filling into crust-lined pan.
4. To “bake” cheesecake in a pressure cooker: Cut an 18-inch-long strip of aluminum foil. Fold in half longwise once, then again. You will need this strip to use as handles to lower and raise the spring-form pan into and out of the pressure cooker. Place 2 cups water in 6-quart or larger pressure cooker. Set trivet in bottom to raise springform pan above water. Set spring-form pan on foil handles (Step 1) and lower it onto trivet. Fold down ends of handles. Lock pressure cooker lid in place and bring to high pressure over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low or just enough to maintain high pressure. Cook 20 minutes. Remove from heat. Let pressure come down naturally. This will take 5 to 10 minutes. When pressure indicator indicates that pressure cooker is no longer under pressure, unlock lid and remove. Protecting hand from steam with oven mitts, grasp foil handles and carefully lift spring-form pan from pressure cooker. Set cheesecake on a rack and let cool at room temperature.
To bake cheesecake in oven: Preheat oven to 325ºF. Put a kettle of water on to boil for the water bath. Wrap the outside of spring-form pan with a double thickness of aluminum foil. Place foil-wrapped cheesecake in shallow roasting pan. Pour in enough boiling water to come about ½ inch up sides of spring-form pan. Place roasting pan in oven and bake until edges are set, but the center still quivers slightly, about 1 ½ hours. Turn oven off. Let cheesecake cool in the oven with the door ajar for 1 hour. Remove foil from pan and let cheesecake cool on a rack.
6. Cover cheesecake with plastic wrap and refrigerate until chilled, at least 4 hours or for up to 4 days.
7. To serve, if any water has accumulated on surface of cheesecake, blot it with paper towel. Run a paring knife around pan sides. Release spring-form clamp and set cheesecake on a platter. Serve with Blackberry Sauce.
Makes 1 cheesecake, about 12 servings.
Per serving (with Blackberry Sauce): 210 calories, 7 g protein, 33 g carbohydrates, 3 g fiber, 6 g total fat, 1 g saturated fat, 50 mg cholesterol, 230 mg sodium.
Recipe by Patsy Jamieson