’Tis the season for pumpkin everything. And what better way to incorporate pumpkin into a holiday meal than dessert? This creamy cheesecake uses pumpkin puree for a seasonal kick, while supplying plenty of vitamin A and health-boosting antioxidants.
While cheesecake can be high in fat and calories, this recipe lightens the load by using reduced fat cream cheese and low-fat Greek yogurt.
Prep time: 25 minutes / Cook time: 1.5 hours
Yields 8 servings
Nonstick cooking spray
8 sheets honey graham crackers
1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
12 ounces reduced fat cream cheese, at room temperature
1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
2/3 cup low-fat 2% Greek plain yogurt
2 large eggs, at room temperature
2 large egg whites, at room temperature
1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin puree
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar
Heat oven to 325° F. Fill a roasting pan half full with water and place on the lower rack (for moisture). Coat a 9-inch springform pan with nonstick cooking spray.
In a food processor, mix graham crackers and 1 tablespoon granulated sugar until fine. Add butter and 2 tablespoons water, and pulse until moistened. Press mixture into the bottom of the greased pan and bake until set and golden brown, about 10 to 12 minutes. Let cool.
In a large bowl, mix cream cheese, brown sugar, salt and 1/3 cup granulated sugar. Using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat until smooth and fluffy. Add yogurt, eggs and egg whites; reduce the mixer speed to low and continue to beat until blended. Add the pumpkin, flour, pumpkin spice and vanilla. Reduce the mixer speed to low and beat until just combined.
Pour the batter over the cooled crust and tap the pan gently on the countertop to bring any trapped air bubbles to the surface. Place cheesecake on the center rack in the oven, and bake until just set, about 50 to 60 minutes (the center should wiggle slightly).
Turn off the oven and crack the door open. Let cheesecake sit in the oven for 15 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool. Run a thin knife between the cheesecake and the pan to release the sides. Cool completely at room temperature, then chill in refrigerator until cold, at least 4 hours or overnight.
Before serving, release the sides of the pan. Allow the cheesecake to come to room temperature, about 30 to 60 minutes. If the top of the cake appears wet, blot with a paper towel to dry. Dust with confectioners’ sugar and enjoy.
Recipe adapted from the Food Network.