Low-fat New York CheesecakeServes 12
Note: Neufchatel cheese is the same thing as Philadelphia Light cream cheese (the kind with 38% less fat in Canada); don't use non-fat cream cheese.
1 1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs (from 9 full-sized crackers)
1/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup unsalted butter, melted
4 large egg whites at room temperature
1 cup sugar
12 ounces (1.5 bricks) Neufchatel cheese, cold
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Topping (I omitted this)
1 1/2 cups reduced-fat sour cream
2 teaspoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Position a rack in the upper third of the oven. Preheat to 350 F. Lightly spray a 9-inch nonstick springform pan with oil. Line the bottom and sides of the pan with parchment paper.
- Stir together cracker crumbs, sugar and butter until well combined. Press mixture into the bottom of the pan. Use a measuring cup to help form the crust. Set the crust in the refrigerator.
- In a clean bowl, beat egg whites until foamy. Increase the speed to high and beat until soft peaks form. Beat in the sugar and whip until stiff, shiny peaks form.
- In another bowl, beath the cheese and vanilla on medium speed until smooth. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add egg whites and beat on low speed until combined. Do not overmix--it should take no longer than 10 seconds. If you have trouble combining the cold cream cheese mixture with the egg whites, vigorously whip them together with a whisk, just until combined. A few small lumps are ok.
- Turn into prepared pan, smooth the top. Bake until edges are slightly puffed and very lightly browned, about 25 minutes. The center will seem somewhat unset. Remove the cake to a wire cooling rack. Increase the oven to 475 F.
- To make the topping: mix the sour cream, sugar and vanilla in a small bowl. Spread the topping over the hot cheesecake. Return the cake to the oven and cook until the topping looks set around the edges, about 5 minutes. Cool to room temperature in the pan on a wire rack. Cover with plastic and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight.