This is my first attempt at making cheesecake, AND making cheesecake with yogurt and crème fraîche. There are so many great sources for cheesecake that I never had the need to spend several hours creating this treat. But I’m glad I did. This is a nice alternative to the standard recipe – creamy, with a slightly lighter weight to it.
I use homemade yogurt (made from Half & Half) and crème fraîche, and I drip the yogurt to get more moisture out of it. I did this by placing the yogurt in a paper towel over a strainer, which was sitting in a saucepan. I leave it there for about a minimum of 15 minutes, but the longer the better. I usually drip it overnight, covered in the refrigerator (yup, the whole saucepan setup). While I secretly wanted to obtain a luxurious creamy taste that one gets from using cream cheese and heavy cream, I would have been happy if it was edible.
I also decided not to use my springform pan, and instead I used a pie plate (mostly because I didn’t have enough yogurt to fill up the springform pan). With this recipe, the plate should not really matter and you don’t need a water bath in the oven, as so many other recipes call for (at least I didn’t). However, next time, I’m using the springform pan and doubling the recipe so that it looks like a classic New York style cheesecake.
Update: I made this recipe again and this time I probably should have put a water bath in the oven with the cheesecake because it did crack a bit on the top. I don’t mind the little bit of cracking, but if you do, take precautions by covering the outer edge of the cheesecake with foil and then submerge it halfway in a water bath.
At the end, I quickly whipped up some cherry coulis by simmering frozen sweet cherries, honey and a small amount of lemon juice for about 5 to 10 minutes. This technique will work for any berries you have on hand or in the freezer. You can serve this warm or cold.
Cheesecake (with yogurt and crème fraîche)
Almond Flour Crust (or your crust of choice)
- 1 1/2 cups of almond flour (finely ground and blanched)
- 4 tablespoons of butter
- 1/4 teaspoon of almond extract (optional)
- 1/4 cup of honey
- (Optional) – add a 1/2 teaspoon of cocoa powder for a darker crust)
Cheesecake Filling (note: double this recipe for a traditional-sized cake)
- 1 1/2 cups of yogurt (dripped to remove moisture – read above for how I do this)
- 1 cup of crème fraîche
- 1/4 plus 1/8 cup of honey
- 1/2 teaspoon of salt
- 1 teaspoon of lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla
- 1 egg yolk
- 3 eggs
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Prepare the crust by combining all the ingredients by hand or in a food processor, and combine the ingredients until they are well blended.
- With your hands, press the crust down on the bottom of a baking dish or spring form pan.
- Bake the crust for about 10 minutes. Don’t let it brown much at all – it will have plenty of time to brown in the next cycle of baking.
- Cool the crust for about 15 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 500 degrees F.
- Mix the yogurt and crème fraîche with a mixer on the lowest speed for a minute or so, just until the well blended. You can do this by hand as well.
- Now drizzle the honey into the mixture and mix again until it is thoroughly blended.
- Add the salt, lemon juice, vanilla, and mix again.
- Finally, add and mix in the egg yolk and then each egg, one at a time, until well blended.
- Pour the liquid filling on top of the cooled crust and bake for 10 minutes.
- Lower the oven temperature to 200 degrees F, and bake for an additional 40-45 minutes.
- When the center is firm or the temperature in the center of the cake is about 140 to 150 degrees F, it’s ready to come out of the oven.
- Cool for a few hours and then refrigerate until you’re ready to enjoy it!