Serves 8 • Cooking Time 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 hours on High • Slow Cooker Size 5 1/2 to 7 Quarts
Why This Recipe Works: To make a lemony low-fat cheesecake in the slow cooker, we started by replacing full-fat cream cheese with a combination of neufchatel cream cheese and 1 percent cottage cheese and cut down on sugar. We then added lemon zest and juice for a bright complement to the tangy sour cream. Finally, we pureed the filling in a food processor for an ultrasmooth texture. The result? A rich, creamy cheesecake with about half the calories and three-quarters less fat than the original. For the creamiest texture, we turned off the slow cooker once the cake registered 150 degrees on an instant-read thermometer, then let the cheesecake sit in the slow cooker for an hour so it could gently finish cooking.
You will need a 6-inch springform pan for this recipe. Check the temperature of the cheesecake after 1 1/2 hours of cooking and continue to monitor until it registers 150 degrees. To make neat slices, dip the knife blade into hot water and wipe it clean with a dish towel after each cut. Serve with berries.
6 whole graham crackers, broken into 1-inch pieces
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
2/3 cup (4 2/3 ounces) plus 1 tablespoon sugar
Pinch ground nutmeg
2 tablespoons grated lemon zest plus 3 tablespoons juice (2 lemons)
12 ounces 1/3 less fat cream cheese (neufchatel), softened
6 ounces (3/4 cup) 1 percent low-fat cottage cheese, drained
1/4 cup sour cream
2 large eggs, room temperature
1. Pulse graham crackers in food processor to fine crumbs, about 20 pulses. Add melted butter, 1 tablespoon sugar, nutmeg, and pinch salt and pulse to combine, about 4 pulses. Sprinkle crumbs into 6-inch springform pan and press into even layer using bottom of dry measuring cup. Wipe out processor bowl.
2. Process remaining 2/3 cup sugar and lemon zest in food processor until sugar is yellow and fragrant, about 15 seconds. Add cream cheese, cottage cheese, and 1/4 teaspoon salt and process until combined, about 15 seconds. Add sour cream, eggs, and lemon juice and process until just incorporated, about 15 seconds. Pour filling into prepared pan and smooth top.
3. Add 1/2 inch water (about 2 cups) to slow cooker and place aluminum foil rack in bottom. Set cheesecake on rack in prepared slow cooker, cover, and cook until cake registers 150 degrees, 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 hours on high. Turn slow cooker off and let cheesecake sit, covered, for 1 hour.
4. Transfer cheesecake to wire rack. Run small knife around edge of cake; gently blot away condensation using paper towels. Let cool in pan to room temperature, about 1 hour. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until well chilled, at least 3 hours or up to 3 days.
5. About 30 minutes before serving, run small knife around edge of cheesecake, then remove sides of pan. Slide thin metal spatula between crust and pan bottom to loosen, then slide cheesecake onto serving platter. Serve.
Per serving: Cal 210; Fat 15g; Sat Fat 9g; Chol 90mg; Carb 9g; Protein 9g; Fiber 0g; Sodium 400mg
Quick Prep Tip: Making a Foil Rack
To make an aluminum foil rack to elevate your baking pan so water doesn’t seep in, loosely roll a 24 by 12‑inch piece of foil into 1‑inch cylinder. Then bend in sides to form oval ring that measures 8 inches long by 5 inches wide. After adding water to slow cooker, place foil rack in center, then place pan on top.
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