I can’t believe Thanksgiving is only three weeks away! If you’re sick of making the same old pumpkin pie every year, try my recipe for pumpkin ricotta cheesecake. It’s from my cookbook, Sweet & Skinny. Did I mention that my publisher is re-releasing the e-version for the holidays? It’s available on all major outlets for only $1.99. Take that Black Friday! Happy Holidays!
Pumpkin Ricotta Cheesecake
6 ounces gingersnap cookies, ground
8 ounces (1 cup) reduced-fat cream cheese (Neufchatel), softened
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup reduced fat plain Greek yogurt
2 large eggs, at room temperature
2 egg whites, from large eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2/3 cup canned pumpkin
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons low-fat ricotta
2 tablespoons large pecan pieces, toasted, for garnish
2 tablespoons pomegranate seeds, for garnish
Preheat the oven to 325F, with a rack in the lower third of the oven. Coat a 9-inch springform cake pan with pan spray. Press the ground cookie crumbs firmly into the bottom of the pan. Set aside.
Using an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and sugar on medium for several minutes, until it is completely smooth and well blended. Add the yogurt, eggs, egg whites, and vanilla; mix for 2 to 3 minutes longer to blend well. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. Add the pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, salt, and cloves and mix for 1 minute longer. Add the ricotta and mix just until it is incorporated.
Pour the batter over the crust and bake for 50 to 60 minutes, until the cheesecake jiggles only slightly in the center when you gently shake the pan. (If the cheesecake browns too quickly or begins to crack, tent a piece of aluminum foil over the top, without touching the filling, for the remaining baking time.)
Transfer the pan to a wire rack to cool for 1 hour. Run a knife around the edge of the pan, if needed, to loosen the cheesecake, then remove the outer pan ring and transfer the cake on its base to a serving plate. Cover the cake loosely with plastic film and refrigerate for at least 3 hours or overnight.
Just before serving, garnish with the toasted pecans and pomegranate seeds. Cut into wedges. Refrigerate any leftover cheesecake, tightly covered, for up to 3 days.