If the summer sun is making you crave something smooth and sweet, try this low-fat berry cheesecake. Topped with a colorful layer of cool gelatin and fresh berries, it’s a guaranteed winner for you, the kids or the guests at your next carry-in. Because it has no crust, it also is low in carbs. Don’t tell anyone how healthy it is, and they’ll never know.
Neufchatel cheese is a variety of cream cheese with a little more moisture left in the paste than regular cream cheese, so it is softer and has fewer calories and less fat.
If you don’t feel like raspberries, change up the gelatin to any flavor you like and add fruit to match — cherry, strawberry or peach would all be great.
Photo by Aimee Blume
Low-Fat Raspberry Cheesecake with Gelatin Topping
2 8-ounce packages Neufchâtel cream cheese, softened
2 8-ounce packages fat-free cream cheese, softened
1½ cups sugar
1 cup reduced-fat sour cream
2 large eggs plus 3 egg whites
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
1 box sugar-free raspberry gelatin
½ cup reduced-fat sour cream
1 3-ounce container fresh raspberries
1 Beat both cream cheeses and the sugar with a mixer on medium-high speed until smooth, 5 minutes, then beat in the sour cream on low. Lightly whisk the 3 egg whites in a bowl, then add to the cheese mixture along with the 2 whole eggs, flour, vanilla and lemon zest. Beat on medium speed until fluffy, 3 minutes. Pour into a shallow ceramic baker, square, oval or round. Choose a container deep enough to leave at least 1 inch of room at the top for the gelatin layer.
2 Place the cheesecake pan in a roasting pan and add enough warm water to come ¼ of the way up the sides of the pan. Bake until the cake is set but the center still jiggles, about 1 hour 10 minutes. Turn off the oven; keep the cheesecake inside with the door closed for 20 minutes.
3 Remove the cake from the water bath and transfer to a rack. Run a knife around the edge, then cool completely. Place in refrigerator.
4 In the meantime, mix gelatin according to package directions. Let cool to near room temperature and whisk in the 2 tablespoons reduced-fat sour cream and all but 10 of the berries.
5 Pour over cake and chill completely. Top with reserved berries and serve.
Source: Adapted from Food Network
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My Big Fat Italian Strawberry-Basil Wedding Pie
Naylet LaRochelle won the Crisco Innovation award for this recipe when she competed in the 2011 National Pie Championships in Orlando. Optional fondant flowers make this pie look good enough to serve at a wedding.
1 1/4 cups flour
2 teaspoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup cold butter-flavored shortening
1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
6 tablespoons ice water
1 envelope unflavored gelatin
1/4 cup whipping cream, plus 1/2 cup whipping cream
1 (10-ounce) jar strawberry spreadable fruit*
1 (8-ounce) container mascarpone cheese
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon grated lemon peel
1 1/2 cups fresh strawberries, hulled and crushed
2 tablespoons fine-chopped fresh basil leaves
Vanilla Bean-White Chocolate Mousse Topping:
3/4 cup white chocolate chips
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons whipping cream
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste
White chocolate curls, for garnish, if desired
White fondant flowers, for garnish, if desired
To make crust: In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, and salt until well blended. Using a pastry cutter, cut the shortening into the flour mixture until it resembles coarse crumbs.
In a small measuring cup, combine the vinegar and ice water. Place flour mixture in bowl of electric mixer fitted with a dough hook. With machine running on medium speed, drizzle tablespoons of vinegar mixture over flour mixture adding just enough to make an evenly moistened dough that sticks together when pressed with the flat side of a spatula. (If dough crumbles, add more ice water by the tablespoon.) Shape dough into a flat disk; wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. On a lightly floured surface, roll out chilled pie dough to fit a 9-inch pie plate. Ease pie dough into pie plate; trim pastry edge; do not prick pastry.
Line the pastry with foil; fill with pie weights or dried beans. Bake 8 to 10 minutes to set the crust. Carefully remove the foil with the pie weights. Prick the bottom of the pie crust. Reduce oven temperature to 375 degrees. Continue baking 14 to 17 minutes or until crust is golden brown. Remove from oven; set on rack to cool completely.
To make filling: In a small microwaveable bowl, combine gelatin and 1/4 cup whipping cream. Set aside 5 minutes for gelatin to soften. Microwave 30 second on high and then stir. Repeat this process until gelatin is completely dissolved. Cool 5 to 8 minutes.
In a large bowl, stir together strawberry spreadable fruit, mascarpone, vanilla extract, salt, lemon peel and gelatin mixture until well combined. Add fresh strawberries and basil; stir to combine.
Beat remaining 1/2 cup whipping cream on high speed of an electric mixer until stiff peaks form. Fold into the strawberry mixture. Pour filling into prepared pie shell. Refrigerate 2 to 3 hours or until filling sets.
To make topping: In a small saucepan, combine white chocolate chips and 2 tablespoons cream. Cook over low heat, stirring often, until completely melted. Remove from heat; stir in vanilla. Let cool about 15 minutes.
In another mixing bowl, beat 1 cup whipping cream on the high speed of an electric mixer until stiff peaks form. Fold whipped cream into cooled white chocolate mixture until well combined.
Spread over top of cooled pie or pipe in a decorative fashion. Return pie to refrigerator 2 to 3 hours or until topping is set. Garnish pie with white chocolate curls and/or white fondant flowers, if desired. Makes 8 servings.
Note: *Found in the jelly aisle of supermarkets.
Source: Adapted from www.Crisco.com
Per serving: 655 calories (67 percent from fat), 49 g fat (25 g saturated, 9.4 g monounsaturated), 111 mg cholesterol, 6.8 g protein, 47.8 g carbohydrates, 1.1 g fiber, 194 mg sodium.