Low-Fat Lemon-Swirled Cheesecake

"As a third-year subscriber to your wonderful magazine, I tried your Lemon-Swirled Cheesecake - and of course, I made it using your Lemon Curd recipe. It is absolutely heavenly! Light, lemony, just heavenly! I took it to the office and asked for AIDS Walk donations - the cake was gone in no time and the donation mug was overstuffed with money. Thank you so much!"

Do I need to say anything more about this cheesecake in order to make you try it yourself? ;-) How about this: The weekend after, I made it again. For a whole bunch of friends of mine. And once more, not a crumble of left-overs! :-)


for the crust:
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons chilled butter, cut in small pieces
1 tablespoon ice water
Cooking spray

for the filling:
3 (8-ounce) blocks fat-free cream cheese, softened
2 (8-ounce) blocks 1/3-less-fat cream cheese, softened
1 3/4 cups sugar
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 1/2 teaspooons grated lemon rind
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
5 large eggs
1 cup lemon curd, preferrably home-made lemon curd

Tip: In the U.S., I usually use stick butter for the crust. I cut off two tablespoons and (manually) coarsly grate it - directly onto a cutting board, which then goes into the refrigerator or freezer for a few minutes. Together with the ice-water, this makes my favorite cheesecake crust: crumbly and light, yet rich tasting. Yum, yum! (Thanks to Pat and Tina, who helped me out with the "crust descriptive" wording. :-) )

Q: What causes cheesecakes to crack down the middle?
A: Cheesecakes commonly crack due to overbaking. They should be removed from the oven when a 3-inch circle in the middle of the cake wobbles slightly. Although it still looks uncooked, residual heat will continue the baking, and when chilled, the cheesecake will have a perfectly smooth consistency.

Preparation (25 minutes plus a total of 1 1/2 hours baking time):

1. To prepare the crust, lightly sift the flour into a small mixing bowl. Add the sugar and stir to combine both ingredients. Add the chilled butter and mix until the product resembles coarse meal. With the mixer still on, slowly pour the ice water over the mixture and process until just blended (do not allow dough to form a ball). Firmly press mixture into bottom of a 9-inch springform pan coated with cooking spray. In a preheated oven, bake at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 10 minutes; cool on a wire rack.

2. Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.

3. To prepare filling, beat cheeses at high speed of a mixer until smooth. Add sugar, flour, lemon rind, vanilla extract, and salt and beat well. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.

4. Pour cheese mixture into prepared pan. Spoon mounds of lemon curd over filling, and swirl together using the handle of a wooden spoon.

5. Bake at 325 degrees Fahrenheit for 1 hour and 20 minutes or until cheesecake is almost set. Remove cheesecake from oven, and cool to room temperature. Cover and chill for at least 8 hours.

Uncover and ... enjoy!