Individual Ricotta Cheesecakes
- 6 ounces reduced-fat cream cheese (Neufchâtel), softened
- 3⁄4 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest or 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 egg whites
- Sliced strawberries or blueberries or all-fruit jam
- Fresh mint leaves (optional)
Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 10 muffin cups with paper liners. Combine cream cheese, ricotta cheese, honey, lemon zest, and vanilla in a large bowl. Whisk together until well combined; set aside. Place egg whites in a large mixing bowl. Beat with an electric mixer on medium speed until soft peaks form. Gently fold the egg whites into the cheese mixture. Divide evenly among the muffin cups. Place muffin pan on the middle rack of the preheated oven. Bake for 15 to 18 minutes or until set. Remove from the oven. Cheesecakes will be puffed but will fall as they cool. When the cheesecakes have cooled, place in an airtight container and refrigerate for 2 hours or overnight. Just before serving, top with berries or jam (1⁄2 teaspoon jam per cheesecake). Garnish with mint, if desired. Makes 10 cheesecakes.
Breakfast Ricotta Cheesecakes: Prepare cheesecakes as above, except omit the honey, lemon zest, and vanilla. Add 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese to cream cheese mixture. Before serving, top cheesecakes with chopped tomato and chopped fresh basil.