Spring cheesecake with berries: Fabulous dessert without heaps of guilt

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Spring is here and that means fresh blueberries, raspberries, blackberries and strawberries — any or all of which are perfect for a cheesecake topping.

There is no doubt that cheesecake is one of the world’s richest, creamiest and most cherished desserts ever (made with cream cheese, ricotta or both, in the case of the delicious recipe below).

Berry-topped spring cheesecake is worth enjoying with others — or by yourself after a stressful or long day.

And if watching your waistline is important before hitting the beach this summer, fear not.

Fresh strawberries like these make a fabulous topping for the spring cheesecake recipe featured here.

There are lower-fat ingredient options here, so that everyone can appreciate this fabulous dessert without too much guilt.

Either way, berry-topped spring cheesecake is worth enjoying with others — or by yourself after a stressful or long day.

This lovely slice of cheesecake shows off touches of strawberry and raspberry on top — the swirl effect is always an option, too.

This lovely slice of cheesecake shows off touches of strawberry and raspberry on top — the swirl effect is always an option, too.

Ingredients

10 graham crackers for the crust

4 tablespoons butter (or reduced-fat butter)

2 tablespoons brown sugar

1/8 teaspoon salt

2 packages softened cream cheese or fat-free cream cheese (8 ounces each)

1 container (15 ounces) of ricotta cheese (part skim milk)

2 tablespoons cornstarch

1 ¼ cups granulated sugar (powdered sweetener)

5 large eggs

1 cup light cream

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

2 pounds strawberries or any other seasonal-favorite berries

(Makes 16 servings)

Use graham crackers for your crust in this recipe — and any whipped cream (as shown on this slice here) is totally up to you.

Use graham crackers for your crust in this recipe — and any whipped cream (as shown on this slice here) is totally up to you.
(Thinkstock)

There is no doubt that cheesecake is one of the world's richest, creamiest and most cherished desserts ever (made with cream cheese, ricotta or both — in the case of the delicious recipe below).

There is no doubt that cheesecake is one of the world’s richest, creamiest and most cherished desserts ever (made with cream cheese, ricotta or both — in the case of the delicious recipe below).
(iStock)

Instructions

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

2. Grease a 9-inch springform pan and wrap the outside with heavy-duty foil to prevent the batter from leaking during baking.

3. Pulse in a food processor graham crackers, butter, salt and brown sugar until combined. Transfer to the springform pan and press the mixture into the bottom of the pan evenly. Bake 10-12 minutes. Cool completely. Reset oven to 325 degrees F.

4. In a food processor, add ricotta, cream cheese, granulated sugar and cornstarch. Pulse until smooth. In a large bowl, whisk eggs and light cream together; add to the ricotta mixture. For into cooled crust. Bake for 1 hour.

5. Turn off the oven and let the cheesecake remain in the oven for 1 hour. Run a knife around the edge of the pan as soon as the cheesecake comes out of the oven to prevent cracks.

MAC AND CHEESE: AMERICA’S ULTIMATE COMFORT FOOD, GETS A DELICIOUS NEW SPIN

6. Remove cheesecake from oven; cool for 2 hours. Cover and refrigerate for 6 hours or overnight.

7. In a large bowl, add berries and leftover sugar; coat well. Set aside to decorate the cheesecake.

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8. To serve, remove foil and place on a cake plate; arrange berries on the cheesecake as you choose. Then—slice, dig in and enjoy!

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