from Guest Chef Marisa Churchill of Sweet & Skinny
Nonstick cooking spray
Dough for 1 Shortbread Cookie Crust or 1 Quick Graham Cracker Crust
8 oz reduced-fat cream cheese
1 Cup Sugar*
1/2 Cup Nonfat sour cream, at room temperature
2 Large Eggs, at room temperature
2 Large Egg whites, at room temperature
1 tsp Pure vanilla extract
2/3 Cup Canned pumpkin puree
1/2 tsp Ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp Ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp Ground ginger
1/4 tsp Salt
1/8 tsp Ground cloves
1 Cup (plus 2 Tbl) Reduced-fat ricotta cheese
2 Tbl Large pecan pieces, toasted, for garnish
2 Tbl Pomegranate seeds, for garnish
1 Prehead the over to 325 degrees with a rack in the lower third of the oven.
2 Coat a 9-inch springform cake pan with pan spray. Press the crust dough firmly into the bottom of the pan, and set aside.
3 Using an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and sugar on medium speed for 2 to 3 minutes, until it is completely smooth. Add sour cream, eggs, egg whites, and vanilla; mix for 2 to 3 minutes longer until blended. Scrape down sides of bowl. Add pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, salt and cloves and mix for 1 minute longer. Add ricotta and mix just until incorporated.
4 Pour the batter over the crust and bake for 50 to 60 minutes, until cheesecake jiggles only slightly in the center when shaken.**
5 Transfer pan to wire rack and let cool for 1 hour. Run a knife around the edge of the pan to loosen cake, remove outer pan ring, transfer the cake on its base to a serving plate. Cover loosely with plastic film and refrigerate for at least 3 hours. To serve, cut into 12 pieces and garnish with pecans and pomegranate seeds.
*For a sugar-free version, substitute 5 Tbl plus 1 tsp of Truvia (20 packets) for the sugar in the filling, and use a sugar-free pie crust.
**If cheesecake browns too quickly or cracks, tent a piece of aluminum foil over the top, without touching filling, for the remaining baking time.
For more information about Marisa Churchill and to purchase a copy of her book, Sweet & Skinny, check out her website at www.marisachurchill.com!