Lemon Cheesecake

Italian Lemon Cheesecake

1 1/3 C. part-skim ricotta cheese
4 oz. neufchatel or light cream cheese
1/3 C. sugar
2 eggs – separated
1/2 C. low-fat milk
1/4 C. all-purpose flour
2 T. lemon juice
2 t. grated lemon rind
1 t. vanilla extract
4 sheets phyllo pastry
1 1/2 T. butter or margarine -melted

Apricot Spread
3 oz. dried apricots; roughly-chopped
1/2 C. unsweetened apple juice

1. Preheat the oven to 325F. Generously coat a 9″ pie plate with vegetable cooking spray.

2. In a food processor or blender process the cheeses, sugar, egg yolks, milk, flour, lemon juice, lemon rind, and vanilla until smooth. In a bowl whip the egg whites until stiff and gently fold into the mixture.

3. Place the 4 sheets of phyllo pastry into the prepared pan, crisscrossing them on the bottom and brushing each lightly with some of the butter or margarine. Trim the overhanging pastry leaving a 2″ border all around.

4. Place the filling in the pan, roll the outer edges of theoverlapping pastry toward the filling, tucking it in and rolling it to create a rim. Brush the edges lightly with the remaining butter or margarine.

5. Place the pan on a cookie sheet, put in the center of the oven. Place a baking pan with 2″ of water on the lower rack of the oven. Bake for 50 to 55 minutes or until set. Remove from the oven and allow to cool on a rack. Chill for 6 hours or overnight.

6. Top with the apricot spread, if desired, and serve the pie
chilled, cut into wedges.

*This pie can be baked without the crust as a pudding.

Apricot Spread

1. In a small saucepan bring the apricots and juice to a boil, cover, reduce heat, and simmer very slowly for 45 minutes, or until smooth and softened, stirring occasionally.

2. Allow the mixture to cool slightly, then process in a food processor or blender until smooth.

3. Place in a covered container and chill for 4 to 6 hours orovernight. Serve chilled.

*Other dried fruits such as peaches or prunes can be substituted for the apricots.

This can be used as a fruit spread on toast, a topping on pies or as a natural low-sugar flavoring for plain yogurt.

Yield: 10 servings

From Make It Easy, Make It Light by Laurie Burrows Grad

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