Dessert, dessert, dessert!
I’ve mentioned probably 428 times that I’m not a huge dessert person, but as time goes on, that has become kinda-sorta a lie…
What still holds true is if I have the option of eating a bucket of homemade popcorn, or a slice of chocolate cake, the popcorn will win 99 times out of 100. But, there are a few exceptions, especially if I’m in the mood for something a little sweet, and one of those exceptions (okay, the main exception), is cheesecake.
Why oh why, dear cheesecake, are you SO GOOD? It’s not even fair, actually. Cream cheese in general is just ridiculous (all on it’s own), then you throw in some sugar, eggs, a load of pure vanilla and a buttery graham cracker crust, and things become real. I can’t resist, and that’s why I don’t usually make it.
But today is a new day. I decided – if you love cheesecake, sometimes you just have to make it. There’s nothin’ wrong with that.
And what’s extra cool about this cheesecake, is that it’s made with cream cheese and ricotta, so it has a creamy, yet wholesome texture. And it’s sweet, but not too sweet. It sounds crazy, but there are some desserts that are too sweet and too rich for my taste, and this cheesecake has something really refreshing and light about it.
Plus! There are berries, and berries make everything better.
- 1 ½ cups graham cracker crumbs
- 2 Tbsp. granulated sugar
- ⅓ cup salted butter, melted
- 8 oz. low fat cream cheese, room temperature
- 4 large eggs
- ¾ cup sugar
- 2 cups ricotta (or Greek yogurt)
- 2 tsp. fresh lemon juice
- 1 ½ Tbsp. pure vanilla extract
- 1 vanilla bean, scraped
- 2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour or cornstarch
- Berries, for serving
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- To make crust: Combine the graham cracker crumbs, sugar and melted butter in a medium bowl. Press into the bottom of a greased 8-inch spring form pan. Set aside.
- To make the cheesecake filling: Beat the cream cheese until very smooth. Add the eggs, one at a time, and ¾ cup sugar until mixture is smooth. Whisk in the ricotta and lemon juice until smooth, then add the vanilla extract, vanilla bean and flour/cornstarch until thoroughly incorporated. Pour batter into the prepared pan and bake 40-50 minutes or until barely set. Turn the oven off and cool cake in oven for 20 minutes, then remove from the oven. Refrigerate at least 4 hours, or overnight.
- Remove spring form pan sides, slice and serve with berries.
- *Note: Cheesecake will last up to 4 days in an airtight container in the refrigerator.