When you think of the word “cheesecake” what comes to mind?
5 lbs of butter?
a pound of sour cream?
2 tubs of cream cheese?
Yeah, me too. Well, that was until I discovered a little secret. And since I’m the best secret keeper around, I guess I’ll let you in on it, too. Did you know you can make silky delicious cheesecake by only using (gasp) greek yogurt?
Don’t tell anyone, mmk?
Would it be a bit much to say that this recipe has changed my life? It’s not like I’m normally overdramatic or anything. But seriously, after baking my first cheesecake in culinary school I vowed to myself never to bake another…it’s so time consuming! And that water bath? Really? Sure, it tasted good but I was thoroughly exhausted by the time it slid into the oven and not to mention, eat bite had about a bajillion calories (overdramatic, what?) and I could just feel the spandex waistline on my checkered culinary pants getting tighter.
Instead of a traditional graham cracker crust, I used a pretty standard pate brisee dough (read: sugar cookie dough) that had a touch of lemon zest for added flavor. I love the way the crunchy texture pairs with the creamy cheesecake. It’s a party in every bite!
Note that you WILL need a springform pan for this recipe. It’s so worth it though! And then you can make this with it, too. See? So worth it.
I topped my cheesecake with peaches because that’s what I had laying around at the time, but you could also do a berry compote or just scatter fresh blackberries on top!
It’s hands down, the lightest cheesecake I’ve ever tried. I ate a slice for an afternoon snack yesterday after shooting it and was amazed that I didn’t feel full or sluggish after. Who knew? Usually eating a big slice of cheesecake makes me want to change into a hooded sweatshirt and crawl under the covers. But I’m sure you have no idea how that feels, right?
I didn’t think so.
Greek Yogurt Cheesecake with Peaches and Honey
1 stick cold butter, cut into small chunks
1.5 cups flour
1/4 tsp salt
2 T sugar
zest of 1 lemon
1 egg yolk
2 T cold water
2 cups whole milk or 2% Greek yogurt (not non-fat)
2/3 cup sugar
pinch of salt
1 vanilla bean (seeds scraped out) or 2 tsp vanilla extract
1 T cornstarch
1-2 peaches, thinly sliced
1 T honey
Make the crust first. Spray a 10-inch springform pan with cooking spray and set aside. In a large bowl, mix together the flour, sugar, lemon zest and salt. Cut in the butter and blend in with your fingers until mixture resembles cornmeal. Add egg yolk and cold water. Mix until dough comes together to form a shaggy ball (dough may be dry). Cover in plastic wrap and let chill for half an hour.
Preheat oven to 375.
Roll out dough to same diameter as pan. You can do this easy by rolling out and placing the bottom of the springform pan on top and gently cutting around the pan with a dull knife. Place dough circle at the bottom of the pan.
Place tin foil on top of the dough circle and cover with dried beans or rice to weigh down. Bake for 15 minutes then take off rice/bean/tin foil and prick all over crust with a fork. Return to oven and bake for another 15 minutes, or until golden.
Meanwhile, make the filling. In a blender or food processor, combine the eggs, sugar, yogurt and vanilla. Blend until smooth then add cornstarch and pinch of salt and blend again. Pour filling into hot crust, lower oven temperature to 350 and bake for 35 minutes.
When the cheesecake is done, it will still be jiggly in the center but will have a “done” look to it. The edges of the cake will start to pull away from the sides of the pan. Make sure you don’t overbake.
Let cool then chill for 2-3 hours in the fridge before releasing springform.
Arrange the sliced peaches over top of the cooled cheesecake. Melt the honey in a small saucepot then drizzle on as well.
~4 hours (including cooling/chilling time)