Light Pumpkin Cheesecake
This light pumpkin cheesecake is every bit as good as its high-fat counterpart—and it’s rich and creamy with a sweet pumpkin and spice finish.
Serves: 16 servings
11 whole graham crackers, broken into pieces
4 tbsp. butter, melted
¼ cup sugar
99% non-aerosol cooking or baking spray
1 cup 2% fat cottage cheese at room temperature
1½ cups raw or granulated sugar
1 tbsp. cornstarch
2 tsp. cinnamon
½ tsp. ground ginger
½ tsp. fresh ground nutmeg
¼ tsp. ground cloves
¼ tsp. ground cardamom
1/16 tsp. salt
2 8-oz. containers (1/3 less fat) cream cheese at room temperature
1 15 oz. can solid-pack pumpkin
1 tsp. vanilla extract
3 eggs plus 1 yolk at room temperature, lightly beaten
Cook’s Note: Don’t skip bringing ingredients to room temperature! All refrigerated ingredients should be brought to room temperature so they will blend together smoothly.
1. Adjust oven rack to center and preheat to 350 F. Line the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan with non-stick foil. Spray bottom and sides with baking or cooking spray.
2. Using a food processor, process graham crackers and sugar into fine crumbs. Add butter and process, scraping down bowl as needed until combined.
3. Transfer mixture to pan. Using a measuring cup, press crumbs firmly onto bottom of pan. Bake crust until edges just start to color, 8 to 12 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and cool.
1. Reduce oven temperature to 325 F. Process cottage cheese in a food processor or blender until smooth, about 2 to 3 minutes, scraping down work bowl as needed.
2. In a large mixing bowl, blend sugar together with cornstarch, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, cardamon and salt. Add cream cheese to sugar mixture blending until smooth. Add cottage cheese, pumpkin puree, and vanilla to cream cheese, blending on low/stir speed until combined.
3. Gently whisk or stir in beaten eggs until blended with other ingredients. Do not over mix. Too much air in the batter can cause cheesecake to crack.
4. Pour batter into pan. Bake at 325 F for 60 to 65 minutes or until the edges are set, but center still moves slightly. Turn oven off and let cheesecake continue to bake with door ajar for 1 hour.
5. Remove cheesecake from oven and cool for 3 hours. Run a knife or spatula around the outside edge of cheesecake each hour to keep it from sticking to the sides of the pan. Wrap cake securely and chill at least 3 hours to overnight.
6. To Serve: Remove the sides from pan and let cheesecake stand at room temperature 15 minutes before slicing. If desired, top each slice with a tbsp. of whipped cream.
Nutritional Information: 260 calories; 12g fat; 33g carbohydrate; 2g dietary fiber; 6g Protein; 76mg cholesterol; 250mg sodium
High-Fat Version: 490 calories; 30g fat; 55g carbohydrate; 3g fiber; 7g protein; 150mg cholesterol;