Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Sugar-Free, Low-Carb, Gluten-Free Lemon Cheesecake Recipe

Prep Time :20 min    Cook Time:70 min    Total Time90 min    Yield:16 servings

Lemon cheesecake is bright and creamy, with the acid of the lemon cutting through the richness of cream cheese. But while most cheesecake has lots of carbohydrates from sugar and and a graham cracker crust, this version is sweetened by a low-carb sugar substitute and uses an almond meal crust. The result is not only delicious, but also gluten-free, low-carb and sugar free.

The key to the perfect lemon cheesecake is to get "the right amount" of lemony flavor without it being sour. One trick is to use lemon zest (the yellow part of the lemon peel), which has a lot of lemon flavor and negligible carbs. Using a microplane grater makes it easy to remove the zest without getting the bitter white pith beneath.

1¼ cup almond meal
2 Tablespoons butter, melted
3 Tablespoons sugar equivalent in artificial sweetener
1½ lbs (3 packages) cream cheese, room temperature
1¼ cups sugar equivalent in artificial sweetener (preferrably powdered erythritol or liquid sweetener)
1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon salt
4 eggs, room temperature
¼ cup lemon juice (fresh is best)
1 Tablespoon lemon zest
¼ cup heavy cream
1 cup sour cream
Juice and zest from 1 medium lemon (about 2 Tablespoons juice and 1 Tablespoon zest)
¼ cup sugar equivalent in artificial sweetener
½ teaspoon vanilla extract

Heat oven to 375 F.
Prepare a springform pan: place a piece of parchment paper over the bottom of the pan; you don't need to cut it to size, just snap it into place when you tighten the sides of the pan. Butter the sides and bottom of the pan, including the parchment paper. Wrap the outside of the pan in heavy-duty foil to protect it from leaks.
In a medium bowl, stir together the ingredients for the crust. Press the mixture into the bottom of your springform pan. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes until fragrant and beginning to brown. Remove from oven.

Lower the oven temperature to 350 F.
In the bowl of a standing mixture, beat cream cheese until fluffy. Scrape sides of bowl and paddle.
Add sweetener, vanilla, salt, and two of the eggs. Beat well, then scrape the sides of the bowl.
Add the remaining two eggs. Beat well and scrape.
Add lemon juice, lemon zest, and cream. Beat well, scrape, and pour filling mixture over the pre-baked crust.
Place a baking pan large enough to hold your springform pan into the oven and fill it halfway with boiling water. Place the springform pan into the baking pan and bake for about 60 minutes, until the cheesecake is mostly set but is still wobbly in the middle.
While cheesecake is baking, mix together ingredients for topping in a clean bowl and set aside.
Remove cheesecake from oven, spread the topping over the cheesecake, then bake for an additional 10 minutes.
Cool to room temperature (1 to 2 hours), then chill completely for several hours before serving.
Nutritional Information (each serving is 1/16th of the cheesecake): 3 grams effective carbohydrate plus 1 gram fiber, 7 grams protein, and 295 calories.

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