Traditional autumn flavors, including molasses, cinnamon, ginger, sweet potato, and pomegranates, contribute to the creamy richness of this luxurious yet low-fat cheesecake. If possible, make this two or three days in advance to allow flavors to blend. If you choose to forgo the pomegranate syrup, simply dollop each slice with organic cranberry sauce.
Recipe Ingredient Details:
1/4 cup pecans
1/4 cup minced crystallized ginger
1 cup all-natural gingersnap cookie crumbs (about 20 small cookies)
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 15-ounce container part-skim ricotta cheese
2 8-ounce packages nonfat cream cheese (at room temperature)
1 cup sweet potato purée or canned unsweetened pumpkin
1 cup date sugar
1/4 cup molasses
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 egg whites (at room temperature)
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 tablespoon sugar
Pinch of salt
2 cups nonfat plain yogurt
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
16-20 pecan halves (for garnish)
Preheat oven to 350°. Coat bottom and sides of a 9-inch springform pan with cooking spray. Place all crust ingredients except oil in a food processor; pulse until fine crumbs form. Add canola oil and process another 5 seconds. Press mixture evenly against pan bottom. Bake for 10 minutes. Cool.
For filling: Place ricotta cheese in a clean dish towel. Knead to remove excess moisture until cheese holds together like soft dough. Place in a mixer bowl or food processor and beat until smooth. Add cream cheese, sweet potato or pumpkin, date sugar, molasses, 1 whole egg, and spices; beat until well blended.
In a separate bowl, beat egg whites with cream of tartar at medium speed until soft peaks form. Slowly add 1 tablespoon sugar and pinch of salt; continue to beat until stiff but not dry. Gently fold into sweet potato–cream cheese mixture.
Place the springform pan on a baking sheet and pour in the filling. Bake in the center of the oven for 80–90 minutes, or until sides are set and a knife inserted comes out clean.
While cheesecake bakes, prepare topping by mixing together yogurt, sugar, and vanilla extract in a medium-size mixing bowl. Refrigerate until ready to use.
When cheesecake is done, remove to a rack and cool for 15 minutes (don’t turn off the oven). Pour topping over cheesecake and decorate with pecan halves. Return to oven and bake for another 5 minutes. Cool on a rack. Refrigerate, uncovered, overnight. Then cover loosely with plastic wrap and refrigerate until serving time. Remove pan sides before serving. Serve with pomegranate syrup* drizzled over each slice, if desired.
Recipe Additional Notes:
*To make pomegranate syrup, combine 1 cup pure pomegranate juice and 1/4 cup honey in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer until reduced by half, stirring occasionally. Cool and stir in 1/3 cup fresh pomegranate seeds.
PER SERVING: 257 cal, 27% fat cal, 8g fat, 2g sat fat, 31mg chol, 11g protein, 36g carb, 1g fiber, 286mg sodium
Wed, 2012-08-22 09:36