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Recipe: How to Make Yogurt Cheesecake

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Two years ago my son picked the biggest key lime cheesecake on record to celebrate his birthday. He raved about the dessert, although I questioned if it was the taste or the sheer size of creamy goodness that left its mark. The following year I made from scratch a lemon cheesecake and, again, he was pleased. In a blink (or tear) of an eye, my son will turn 13 so I want to find a suitable dessert to celebrate his official transition from tween to teen. He’s smart and confident, with a quick wit and a hearty appetite for a wide variety of foods. Typical kid-food has never been the norm. While he’s happy to have a cheeseburger and fries, you’ll also find him noshing grilled calamari, tearing through raw kale or spreading brie cheese on whole-grain crackers.

Yogurt Cheesecake

As we set forth into the uncharted territory of the teen years, I think continuing the  birthday cheesecake tradition provides a solid foundation. To bridge these two ideas, we will slightly expand our culinary adventures with Yogurt Cheesecake. The base is slightly tangy and lighter than a traditional cheesecake. And since my son is no stranger to my refrain of "variety is the spice of life," the toppings are what I hope will make this cheesecake memorable. We’ve covered citrus fairly well with lime and then lemon. Orange or grapefruit march down that same path, although kumquat might be fun. I’m toying with crystalized ginger or tropical fruit like kiwi, mango or pineapple. This is where I need your help. If you have a suggestion of a sauce or compote please add it in the comment section here. I’ve got a month to find that perfect topping to celebrate his first teen birthday!

How to Make Yogurt Cheesecake

Ingredients

  • 4 quarts (8 lbs) Nonfat plain yogurt (do not use yogurt with gelatin)
  • 1 cup Low-fat graham cracker crumbs
  • 2 tbsp Butter, melted
  • 1 1/2 cups Sugar
  • 3 Eggs
  • 1/4 cup Flour
  • 1 tbsp Vanilla
  • 1 tsp Grated lemon zest
  • Assorted berries and/or cut fruits in season as desired, for garnish

Preparation

1. Set a colander over a large bowl, supporting it so the base of the colander is at least 2 inches above the bottom of the bowl. Line colander with 2 layers of cheesecloth. Spoon in yogurt.

2. Cover tightly with plastic wrap. Chill in refrigerator 12 hours or overnight, pouring off whey as it drains. Scrape yogurt from cloth.

3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

4. In bowl, mix crumbs and butter. Pat evenly over bottom of a 9-inch spring form pan. Bake 10 minutes. Remove from oven; set aside. Raise oven temperature to 450 degrees. With an electric mixer, beat yogurt, sugar and eggs on high speed for 1 minute. Mix in flour, vanilla and zest just until blended. Pour into prepared crust. Bake 10 minutes.

5. Reduce oven temperature to 250 degrees and continue to bake for 1 hour or until center barely jiggles when cake is shaken. Run a thin-bladed knife between cake and pan. Cool slightly, then refrigerate, uncovered, until cake is completely chilled, at least 3 hours. Garnish as desired. Cut into wedges to serve. (If making ahead, cover when cool and chill up to 1 day.)

Serves eight (or one growing teen for a birthday dessert and leftovers for the next day…just kidding.)

Nutrition Information

Calories: 338 ; Total Fat: 6 g ; Saturated Fat: 3 g ; Polyunsaturated Fat: 0 g ; Carbohydrates: 59 g ; Protein: 11 g ; Vitamin A: 64 RE ; Vitamin C: 2 mg ; Calcium: 348 mg ; Sodium: 267 mg ; Iron: 1 mg ; Fiber: 0 g

What is your favorite way to top a cheesecake?

Trina Robertson, MS, RD is a registered dietitian with a master’s degree in nutrition. As a HealthyEating.org Mom she shares her positive approach to healthy eating with the goal of inspiring others to prepare and enjoy foods from each of the food groups. As a Project Manager with the Dairy Council of California, Trina develops, evaluates, and promotes nutrition education materials for students and adults. At home she enjoys cooking and sharing meals with her family. Her most rewarding accomplishment is that her boys are good eaters and are learning to cook. Follow Trina on Twitter @TrinaR_RD and find more Healthy Eating ideas on Facebook.

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Meals Matter Mom Trina Robertson is a registered dietitian with a master’s degree in sports nutrition. As a Project Manager with the Dairy Council of California, Trina develops, evaluates and promotes nutrition education materials for students and adults. Trina Robertson, MS, RD is a registered dietitian with a master’s degree in nutrition. As a HealthyEating.org Mom she shares her positive approach to healthy eating with the goal of inspiring others to prepare and enjoy foods from all the food groups. As a Project Manager with the Dairy Council of California, Trina develops, evaluates and promotes nutrition education materials for students and adults. At home she enjoys cooking and sharing meals with her family. Her most rewarding accomplishment is that her boys are good eaters and are learning to cook. Follow Trina on Twitter @TrinaR_RD and find more Healthy Eating ideas on Facebook and Pinterest.

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