Cranberry Maple Cheesecake

Cheesecake! I am a huge fan of cheesecake, but for some reason this was the first time I’ve tried making it … and oh was it good! I used a light cheesecake recipe as my base but adapted it by using Neufchâtel rather than reduced fat cheese. The texture and taste is completely full fat and perfect! The crust is a combination of gingersnaps and cinnamon graham crackers which goes great with the topping. I plan on making this recipe many times in the future and can’t wait to experiment with topping and crust variations.  Also, if you like thick graham cracker crusts (I do!) you may want to double the crust recipe. I plan on doing that next time because I like a really thick buttery crust.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup pure maple syrup
  • 2 (8 oz.) packages fresh cranberries, rinsed
  • 15 gingersnaps
  • 24 cinnamon graham crackers (6 full sheets)
  • 9-inch springform pan, buttered
  • 5 tbsp. butter, melted
  • 1 and 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1 and 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 3 (8 0z.) blocks Neufchâtel cheese, softened
  • 4 large egg whites

Instructions

  1. Prepare topping by combining the syrup and cranberries in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat, cover and chill.
  2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  3. To prepare the crust, combine gingersnaps and graham crackers in a food processor, and process until you reach a fine crumb. Drizzle the butter into the processor and pulse just until moist. Press firmly into the springform pan bottom and 1 inch up the sides.
  4. Place sugar, vanilla, and cheese into a large bowl and beat with a mixer on high speed until smooth. Add egg whites, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Pour batter into the pan. Bake at 375 degrees for about 35 minutes. The cheesecake center should barely move when the pan is touched.
  5. Remove from the oven and run a knife around the outside edge. Cool to room temperature. Cover and chill at least 8 hours. Spread the topping on top of the cheesecake prior to serving.

Serves: 16 slices

Recipe source: Adapted from a Cooking Light recipe

Time: 45 minutes plus at least 8 hours cool time (Can be made up to 3 days in advance)

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