Let There Be Cheesecake!

Cheesecake. I’ve had a long and sticky love affair with it. New York style, creamy, fluffy, mousse-y, chocolate, tofu (not for me), no-bake–there are as many cheesecakes as dessert lovers in the world.

I decided to play around with a cheesecake recipe that’s been in my recipe box for over 25 years. The original recipe was loaded with sugar and had a crust with flour. My way of cooking is by taste and feel, so I launched into the experiment with a grin and a spatula.

cheesecakeWhen I published the photo on Facebook, I got several requests for the final recipe, so here is Version 1.4–the fourth try from the original recipe. It’s a creamy, dense, firm, tart cheesecake with a pecan crust.

About variations: Feel free to experiment. I use full-fat dairy products because low-fat contains ingredients that make products taste gummy to me. Your experience may vary.

Diabetic-Friendly Cheesecake.  Time: 3.5 hours. Active time: 30 -45 minutes.

Preheat oven to 325ºF. This recipe was made in a 6-inch springform pan. Because you can’t turn out a cheesecake the way you can a regular cake, I’d suggest using a springform pan. I’ve never made it in anything else.

Crust Ingredients

  • 1 cup pecan pieces (or mix of walnut or pecans)
  • 2 tsp. cardamom seed powder
  • 1 tsp. coconut blossom sugar, a low-glycemic sugar, light brown in color
  • 2 tsp. butter

Put nuts in blender and blend on lower speed until they are the consistency of cornmeal. Do not over-blend, or you will have pecan butter. Add the rest of the ingredients except the butter and pulse to combine completely.

Melt the butter and use it to butter the bottom and sides of the pan. Leave in any excess. It helps crisp the crust.

Press the nut mass into the bottom and about 1/2-inch up the side of the pan. This seals the pan bottom to the side, so the liquid mixture won’t leak.

Put the pan on a cookie sheet and bake in a 325ºF oven for about 20 minutes. You want the crust to be slightly darker, but watch it carefully so it doesn’t burn. Remove and let cool completely. Do not add cheesecake mixture to a hot pan.

The break in the center doesn't bother me and it doesn't alter the taste.

The break in the center doesn’t bother me and it doesn’t alter the taste.

Cheesecake Mixture Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup cream cheese
  • 1 cup yogurt
  • 1/3 cup sour cream
  • 1/3 cup cottage cheese
  • 1 Tbl. lemon juice, squeezed from a lemon, not bottled
  • 2 whole eggs
  • 1 Tbl. coconut blossom sugar
  • 2 tsp. coriander seed powder (do NOT use fresh, green coriander leaf)
  • 2 tsp. lemon zest
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 tsp. cornstarch

Put the cream cheese, lemon juice, zest and vanilla into a blender and combine to creamy consistency. Add the sugar. Blend. This sugar takes a little longer to incorporate and will turn the cake mixture a pale caramel color.

Stir the cornstarch and coriander into the yogurt, then add the yogurt to the blender. Mix at medium speed for about 15 seconds. Add the sour cream and cottage cheese, blending between each. Taste. Adjust sugar to taste if you don’t have to watch sugar intake.

Add eggs and blend until the mixture is perfectly smooth and evenly colored. Pour into the baked shell still in the pan. Put pan on cookie sheet and bake at 325ºF for about 30 minutes, or until a one-inch edge (from pan rim to center) is firm. The center will still be liquid. Turn off the oven and leave the cheesecake in the oven for another hour. Don’t peek or the oven will cool too quickly. Remove the cheesecake and allow it to cool completely. A toothpick will not come out clean, but don’t worry. Refrigerate for at least two hours. When the cake is cool, run a knife around the inside edge of the pan, release the springform ring, and cut the cake. Enjoy!

You can top the cheesecake with whipped cream or with a low calorie jam (see top photo).

Note: The cake is not a low-calorie dessert. It is diabetic friendly. Diabetes is a different disease for everyone, so watch your blood sugar, and remember that one serving is 1/8 of the cake, made in a 6-inch springform pan. I don’t know the carb count on it, all I know is that my blood sugar stays within reasonable limits if I eat if after a reasonable meal. (My reasonable meals contain 35 gr. carbs).

-Quinn McDonald loves to cook food that tastes good. She learned how to cook from her mother, and can make a wicked good gravy from scratch.