Low Cal New York Style Cheesecake
1 pint nonfat or low-fat plain yogurt
1 cup gingersnap crumbs (about 15 cookies)
1 tablespoon egg white, lightly beaten with a fork
1 pound light cream cheese, softened (two 8-ounce packages)
3/4 cup granulated sugar
Grated zest of 1 lemon
Grated zest of 1 small orange
1 pound 1 percent cottage cheese, drained in a strainer for about 30 minutes
2 teaspoons vanilla
4 egg whites
1/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
Fresh berries, for garnish (optional)
Line a strainer with a coffee filer or cheesecloth and place it over a bowl. Put the yogurt in the strainer and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight. The longer the yogurt drains, the thicker the cheese. One pint (2 cups) will make about 1 cup yogurt cheese.
To Make Crust:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Separate the bottom and sides of an 8½- or 9-inch springform pan. Spray the bottom with nonstick cooking spray.
Combine the gingersnap crumbs with the beaten egg white in a bowl, moistening the crumbs. Press the mixture into the bottom of the pan. Bake the crust until golden, about 8 minutes. Set aside on a wire rack to cool. Spray the sides of the pan and gently attach to the bottom. Set the pan aside. (If you don’t trust the seal of the springform, wrap a sheet of foil tightly around the bottom and sides.)
To Make Filling:
Preheat oven to 500 to 550 degrees. In a large mixing bowl, combine the cream cheese, reserved yogurt cheese, sugar, lemon zest and orange zest; beat with an electric mixer at medium speed until creamy. Meanwhile, process the cottage cheese in a food processor until smooth and creamy. Add to the mixer bowl and continue to beat until very smooth. Add the vanilla, eggs and egg whites, one at a time, mixing until smooth after each addition. Add the flour and mix until well-combined. Pour the filling into the pan. Bake for 12 minutes.
Reduce the heat to 200 degrees and bake 1 hour longer. The cheesecake should be set and lightly golden around the edges. Cool the cheesecake in the pan on a rake. While the cake is still warm, run a knife gently around the edge of the cake. When the cake has cooled to room temperature, cover the pan with plastic wrap, without letting the wrap touch the surface of the cake. Place in the refrigerator for at least 6 hours, or overnight.
Remove the cake from the refrigerator about 20 minutes before serving. Carefully remove the sides of the pan and place the cake on its base on a serving plate. If you like, scatter fresh berries on the plate around the outside of the cake. Cut with a knife blade dipped in hot water between each slice.