Thursday, April 21, 2011

Luscious Lemon Cheesecake

We've been totally knocked down by a very nasty stomach virus this week, so needless to say, this mom has not been cooking....or eating for that matter. Since I'm starting to feel a little bit like a human again, I thought I'd use this as an opportunity to blog some recipes that I've got back logged. I made this in March and it's now the end of April, I'm so ashamed.

Recently I've received several lovely lemons, both from my CSA, Harvest2U and from friends and family. I'm NOT complaining, I promise. I love lemons!

Since we're following the maintenance phase of the South Beach Diet I thought I would attempt a South Beach Diet friendly cheesecake. Oh, and if that were not enough of a challenge, my father in law, who has celiac's disease, was here for a visit from Arkansas. So, I needed to make it gluten free as well.

So, to make this cheesecake, I'm going to break it into three phases to make it easier.

For the CRUST you'll need the following.

2 cups raw almonds
2T splenda
1t cinnamon
2T olive oil
1/4c egg substitute

For the FILLING you'll need the following.

3 (8oz) packages of low fat cream cheese, softened
3 eggs
3/4c plus 3T splenda, divided
4T freshly squeezed lemon juice
1T gluten free baking flour
2t vanilla
1T lemon zest
2c low fat sour cream

For the GLAZE you'll need the following.

1/4c splenda
2t gluten free baking flour
1/4c water
zest and juice of one lemon (approx 2T juice)

First you'll need to preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

While your oven is preheating, you can get going on the crust. It's super simple! In a food processor (I actually used the chopper attachment to my emersion blender) chop almonds. Add splenda and cinnamon and give it a couple of pulses. Then add the olive oil and give it another short whirl. Now, take this mixture out and add the egg substitute to it. Mix well and then pour into the bottom of your springform pan. with the back of a large spoon (or you could just use your clean hands) press the crust mixture evenly across the bottom of the pan.

Once this is done, you'll place it in the oven and bake for 5-7 minutes.

While your beautifully made crust is cooling, you can start on the filling.

Begin by mixing the cream cheese on medium high speed with your mixer until it's smooth.

Next, you'll add your eggs, one at a time. Mix in each egg thoroughly before adding the next.

Next you'll add the splenda, GF baking flour, lemon juice and on of the teaspoons of vanilla. All the while beating at medium speed. Once ingredients are well incorporated you can fold in the lemon zest.

Pour this mixture into the springform pan and bake for 35 minutes. While that layer is baking you can start on the sour cream layer. You're going to mix the sour cream with the other teaspoon of vanilla and splenda. Set this aside.

As soon as you remove the cake from the oven you will spread it with the sour cream mixture and return it to the oven for 14 minutes.

Remove the cake from the oven and let it cool. It's OK if it has small cracks in it, they will be covered up by the glaze.

In a small saucepan, combine all of the glaze ingredients until smooth. Once they are smooth, turn on the heat and bring to a boil. You need to stir the glaze constantly for about 4 minutes, or until it thickens. Once it's thickened remove it from the heat. Let it cool down, but don't let it set. Spread the glaze on the cheese cake and return it to the refrigerator. Chill several hours to overnight.

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