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Light Cheesecake Recipe with Berry Chia Jam

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This light cheesecake recipe is rich, decadent, and a great dessert to enjoy at the end of the night. The creamy cheesecake center goes so well with a tart yet sweet homemade berry chia jam. And it's the perfect treat for Valentine's Day (or really any day)!

Ingredients

Units Scale

For the crust

  • 1 1/2 cups (172g) graham cracker crumbs (~11 sheets)
  • 3 Tbsp butter, melted
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp packed brown sugar
  • 2-3 tsp water
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp salt

For the filling

  • 2-8oz blocks (447g) low-fat cream cheese (or Neufchatel cheese), room temp
  • 1 1/2 cups (370g) fat-free vanilla Greek yogurt (low-fat and/or plain Greek yogurt will work as well), room temp
  • 1/3 cup (93g) real maple syrup or honey
  • 2 large eggs, room temp
  • 2 large egg whites, room temp
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • Boiling water for water bath

For the berry chia jam topping

  • 2 cups (250g) fresh or frozen mixed berries (or any fruit!)
  • 2 Tbsp chia seeds
  • 2 Tbsp real maple syrup or honey
  • 2 Tbsp apple juice (or orange)

Instructions

For the topping

  1. Cook fruit over medium heat in a small saucepan until mushy (~8-10 minutes).
  2. Once cooked through, mash with a spatula.
  3. Remove from heat and stir in chia seeds, maple syrup or honey, and juice.
  4. Set aside while you make the cheesecakes.  The jam will congeal as it cools!

For the crust

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees and line muffin tin with liners and spray with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. Place graham crackers into a sealed plastic bag and smash with a rolling pin, measuring cup, etc. to get fine crumbs.
  3. In a medium bowl, mix crumbs, butter, sugar, 2 tsp water, vanilla, and salt.  The texture should resemble wet sand; if it's too crumbly, add another teaspoon of water.
  4. Scoop ~1 1/2 Tbsp of graham cracker mixture into prepared muffin tin sections and press down with the back of the tablespoon to form a crust.  There should be enough crust for 18 cheesecakes.
  5. Bake crust for 7-9 minutes.
  6. Let cool while you make the filling.

For the filling

  1. Using a hand or stand mixer, beat cream cheese and yogurt until fluffy, ~4-5 minutes.
  2. Add maple syrup or honey and mix.
  3. Add eggs and egg whites one a team, mixing after each addition.  Scrap the sides and bottom of bowl.
  4. Add vanilla and lemon juice.  Mix until just combined.
  5. Using a 1/4 cup measuring cup, scoop 1/4 cup filling into each tin.
  6. Open the oven and place a large baking sheet (at least 1" thick) on a rack in the center of the oven.  Place the filled muffin tin on top of that.
  7. Carefully pour hot or boiling water onto the baking sheet to create a water bath.
  8. Bake 20-22 minutes.  The centers may be wobbly, which is okay!
  9. Carefully remove the muffin tin from the oven and let cheesecakes cool for 20-25 minutes.
  10. Remove and place on a cooling rack while you make the second batch.
  11. Repeat crust process (press crumbs into prepared tin, bake, cool), fill with filling (scoop 1/4 cup cheesecake filling into cooled tins), and bake.  Let cool.
  12. Once cooled to room temperature, store in fridge until ready to serve.
  13. Once ready to serve, dollop 1-2 Tbsp chia seed jam on top of each cheesecake and enjoy!

Notes

  • You can make the cheesecakes and jam a day ahead of time and store in the fridge until ready to serve.
  • Store in an air-tight container for up to 4 days.
  • You can use a flavored yogurt to add extra flavor (this may change nutrition content below).
  • To make gluten-free, use gluten-free graham cracker crumbs!
    • You can also use cinnamon or chocolate graham crackers to switch up flavors!

Nutrition

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