Recipes from Cooking Light Lighten Up, America! by Allison Fishman Task
Vanilla Cheesecake with Cherry Topping
We use the entire vanilla bean, so none of it is wasted: The seeds
flavor the cheesecake, and the bean halves flavor the topping.
- Yield: 16 servings (serving size:
1 slice cheesecake and about 2 tablespoons topping)
cup graham cracker crumbs
tablespoons butter, melted
(8-ounce) blocks fat-free cream cheese, softened
(8-ounce) blocks 1/3-less-fat cream cheese, softened
tablespoons all-purpose flour
(8-ounce) carton fat-free sour cream
teaspoons vanilla extract
vanilla bean, split lengthwise
cup tawny port or other sweet red wine
(10-ounce) bags frozen pitted dark sweet cherries
tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Preheat oven to 400°.
To prepare crust, combine first 3 ingredients, tossing with a fork. Add
2 teaspoons water; toss with a fork until moist and crumbly. Gently press
mixture into bottom and 1 1/2 inches up sides of a 9-inch springform pan coated
with cooking spray. Bake at 400° for 5 minutes; cool on a wire rack.
Reduce oven temperature to 325°.
To prepare filling, beat cheeses with a mixer at high speed until
smooth. Combine 1 cup sugar, flour, and salt, stirring with a whisk. Add to
cheese mixture; beat well. Add sour cream; beat well. Add eggs, 1 at a time,
beating well after each addition. Stir in vanilla extract. Scrape seeds from
vanilla bean; stir seeds into cheese mixture, reserving bean halves.
Pour cheese mixture into prepared pan; bake at 325° for 1 hour and 15
minutes or until cheesecake center barely moves when pan is touched. Remove
cheesecake from oven; run a knife around outside edge. Cool to room
temperature. Cover and chill at least 8 hours.
To prepare topping, combine port, 1/2 cup sugar, cherries, and reserved
vanilla bean halves in a large saucepan; bring to a boil. Cook 5 minutes or
until cherries are thawed and mixture is syrupy. Remove vanilla bean halves;
Combine juice, cornstarch, and 4 teaspoons water, stirring with a whisk
until well blended. Stir cornstarch mixture into cherry mixture; bring to a
boil. Reduce heat; simmer 3 minutes or until mixture is slightly thickened and
shiny. Remove from heat; cool to room temperature. Cover and chill. Serve over