This showpiece cheesecake celebrates one of winter's brightest gifts: the orange. This cheesecake is exceptionally rich and creamy-tasting, but lower in saturated fat than a traditional cheesecake. The secret is to replace most of the cream cheese with pureed cottage cheese.
- 20 cookies or biscuits
- 1 tablespoon canola oil
- 2 1/2 cups low-fat (1%) cottage cheese
- 12 ounces reduced-fat cream cheese (not nonfat), cut into pieces
- 2/3 cups granulated sugar or splenda equivalent
- 1/3 cups packed light brown sugar
- 1/4 cups cornstarch
- 1 large egg
- 2 large egg whites
- 1 cups nonfat or low-fat plain yogurt
- 4 teaspoons freshly grated orange zest
- 2 tablespoons orange juice
- 1 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons orange marmalade
- 2 tablespoons orange liqueur or orange juice
- Mint sprigs
1.Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Coat a 9-inch springform pan with cooking spray. Put a kettle of water on to boil for the water bath. Wrap the outside of the pan with a double thickness of foil. Instead of going through the trouble of wrapping your spingform pan and risking a water-logged, ruined cheesecake, I would recommend using a cheesecake moat or specially made leak-proof springform pan.
2.To prepare crust: Grind vanilla snaps in a food processor. Add oil and process until the crumbs are moistened. Press crumbs evenly into the bottom of the prepared pan.
3.To prepare filling: Puree cottage cheese in a food processor (use a clean workbowl) until smooth, scraping down the sides once or twice. Add cream cheese, granulated sugar, brown sugar, and cornstarch. Process until very smooth. Add egg, egg whites, yogurt, orange zest, orange juice, and vanilla; process until smooth. Pour over the crust.
4.Place the cheesecake in a shallow roasting pan and pour in enough boiling water to come 1/2 inch up the outside of the springform pan. Bake until the edges are set but the center still jiggles when the pan is tapped, 50 to 60 minutes.
5.Turn off the oven. Spray a knife with cooking spray and run it around the inside edge of the pan. Let the cheesecake stand in the oven, with the door ajar, for 1 hour. Remove the cheesecake from the water bath and remove the foil. Refrigerate, uncovered, until chilled, about 2 hours.
6.To glaze and garnish cheesecake: Shortly before serving, combine marmalade and orange liqueur (or juice) in a small saucepan. Heat over low heat, stirring, until melted and smooth. Place cheesecake on a serving platter and remove pan sides. Brush glaze over the top of the cheesecake. Make a slit in each orange slice, then twist and wrap it into a rosette. Garnish cheesecake with the orange rosettes and mint.