Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Lemony Greek Yogurt "Cheesecake"


Hope you all had a wonderful Memorial Day!
I am indebted to all those who gave the ultimate sacrifice one can give - I'm glad I live in the good ol' U.S.A.!!!

***


As Americans, what do we generally do on all holidays?
Eat.
I shouldn't judge, because I am right up with the rest of us "gettin' my grub on."
What can I say, I AM an American. :)

Well, I've been havin' one of my hankerin's.
A hankerin' for a good desert.
Either something uber-chocolatey or something dreamy-creamy.
I went with the dreamy-creamy.

Although, alas, my sweet tooth was rarin' up. 
However, I still thought I'd try to make a healthier dessert - but I wanted the dessert to be G-O-O-D. Because, I don't know about you, but to me, almost nothing is as disappointing as wasting all those calories on something that just isn't worth it. 
Ya feel me, dawg?

I stumbled upon THIS RECIPE for 
Lemony Greek Yogurt Cheesecake.
The recipe replaces the cream cheese and sour cream in traditional cheesecakes with Greek yogurt. 
Hmmm...I was a bit skeptical.
The recipes take out ALL of the cream cheese and sour cream????
Well.
I decided to be "gutsy."
Just call me a risk-taker.
Pssh.
Bring. it. on.

I (of course) tweaked the recipe both on purpose and accidentally.
Don't judge.
Yes, doing both is possible.

On purpose: Instead of sugar, I used Truvia Baking Blend (It consists of both sugar and stevia and cuts calories by 75% of white sugar). 
Accidentally: I omitted one egg (Darn!)

***

Lemony Greek Yogurt Cheesecake
Makes 1 cake
Graham Cracker Crust (you can also use a store-bought crust):
1 ½ cups graham cracker crumbs (about 9 whole cookies)
¼ cup Truvia Baking Blend
¼ cup melted light butter (plus 1-2 tsp for preparing pan)

1)  Preheat oven to 300° F. 
2)  Break cookies and place in food processor*. Pulse until ground into medium-fine crumbs. 
3)  Put crumbs into medium mixing bowl. With a fork, stir in melted butter and sugar. 
4)  Turn out crumb mixture into a buttered nine-inch springform pan (or other pan, if you don't have a     
      springform pan) and, using your fingers, press mixture into an even crust along the bottom. (You can also    
      use a buttered glass pie plate and form the crumbs into a traditional crust along the bottom and up the   
      sides.)
5)  Bake the crust for 10-15 minutes until firm and dry. 
6)  Remove from oven and set on a wire rack.

*Don't have a food processor? You can also make crumbs in the blender or by hand. Place crackers in a heavy duty plastic freezer bag and crush with a rolling pin.


Lemon Greek Yogurt Filling:
4 eggs
1/3 cup + 1 Tbs Truvia Baking Blend
1 Tbs. cornstarch
¼ tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 cups plain Greek Yogurt (I used 0% b/c it's what I had)
1 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
1 tsp. lemon zest

7)   With an electric mixer, beat eggs a few times to combine. 
8)   Beat in sugar, cornstarch, salt, vanilla, and yogurt until light and slightly bubbly. 
9)   Add lemon and lemon zest and pulse or beat briefly to incorporate. 
10) Pour mixture into prepared crust (it's fine if the crust is still warm).
11) Place in center of oven. Start checking cheesecake after 50 minutes and then every 5-10 minutes after that. Shake pan gently. The filling should look creamy but firm at the edges, and still appear slightly jiggly in the center. It will firm up as it cools. 
12) Remove from oven and set on a wire rack. Cool to room temperature. 
13) Refrigerate for at least 4 hours (or overnight) before serving.

Optional topping: 3 cups of sliced strawberries, raspberries, blackberries or mixed berries tossed with two tablespoons sugar. Let mixture sit in the refrigerator for at least an hour so the berries get nice and juicy. Spoon desired amount of topping over a slice of cheesecake before serving.


***

So, how was it?
I was pleasantly surprised. 
Lemony Greek Yogurt Cheesecake is actually a GREAT substitute for a traditional cheesecake. 
I honestly really enjoyed it (and it satisfied my hankerin').
This recipe even passed the hubby test!!!
He likes it!
Yippee!!!
Trust me, my husband will tell me what he thinks about the new recipes I make - he's like my own personal food critic. :) 
(No worries, he's not like a "Gordon Ramsay" or anything.)
It's funny b/c as "foodies", we critique a new recipe and discuss what, if anything, the recipe is missing, whether it's better than a previous recipe, etc.- just to give you some idea- this couple takes our food seriously.

 Oh, yeah, Great News, I calculated the calories per serving for each piece of "cheesecake":
6 slices per pie: about 270 calories
8 slices per pie: about 200 calories
Plus, a major "bump up" in protein and less sugar than typical cheesecake.
Could it get any better?


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