OK so these aren’t really blintz cheesecakes. But I occasionally get cravings for blintzes and this is as close as I can get to them without suffering from a FODMAP backlash 🙂
Real blintzes are delicate crepes filled with the most wonderful mixture of cottage cheese, sugar, lots of lemon zest and juice, and sultanas that have been macerated in brandy (if you’re going all out, that is). Sometimes the sultanas are replaced with a topping of blueberries or a blueberry sauce. Served warm. Heaven. Bliss. I can’t have sultanas. Dammit. But I can have blueberries. I was also too lazy to make crepes because I got asked to make cheesecake this weekend. Best of both worlds? Good enough, I say! Plus, cheesecake.
So this is my healthy cheesecake homage to the amazingness of the blintz. With blueberries.
I’ve added a little ginger to the crust. You don’t have to, it’s optional. I just like that extra zing that ginger gives as a contrast to the puckery sour of the lemons in the filling.
If you’d like to go all out with a proper cheesecake (aka one that has real sugar), go right ahead and substitute sugar for the sweeteners in the crust and filling.
The macros are pretty good for a healthy dessert, with saturated fats kept low, despite the use of butter in the crust. It’s also a low carb and low sugar dessert, and kicks goals with each mini cheesecake providing around 13 grams of quality protein – and no protein powders required 🙂
These cheesecakes are best served warm or at room temperature, rather than chilled. I find this is true of most baked cheesecakes made with either cottage cheese or quark. If you refrigerate them, simply zap them in a microwave for 5 to 10 seconds and then top as desired to serve. The texture is beautifully creamy and the lemon hits you with its freshness.
I have topped these simply with some blueberries and lemon zest mixed together and warmed through in a microwave (or gently on the stove). A satisfying and healthy, blintz-like dessert.
Also, aren’t they just downright pretty?
This recipe is also gluten-free and suitable for anyone with fructose or fructan malabsorption (low FODMAP, excluding dairy).
Makes: 12 mini cheesecakes
125 grams almond meal (flour)
30 grams coconut flour
30 grams organic butter, melted
1 – 2 teaspoons ground ginger (optional*)
stevia or other sweetener, to taste (I used 1/8 teaspoon pure stevia powder)
*The ginger in this recipe is optional. If you are not a fan of ginger, simply replace it with 1 – 2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest or 1/2 teaspoon almond extract.
600 grams low-fat cottage cheese (I used Elgaar Farm Organics 1% Cottage Cheese)
4 large eggs
1 large or 2 small lemons, zest and juice
120 grams stevia based sweetener or other sweetener, to taste (I used Natvia)
To decorate, use your favourite berry or fruit sauce or compote. Alternatively, mix some thick Greek yoghurt with a little stevia, lemon zest and ginger to top off the cheesecake. If happy to use sugar, add some crystallised ginger or a drizzle of melted dark or white chocolate 🙂
If you wish, feel free to use sugar in this recipe. Simply replace the Natvia with 120 grams of sugar. For the crust, add up to 30 grams of sugar, or to taste.
This recipe works really well with cottage cheese, quark, and ricotta cheese. I also like it with a substitution of 500 grams cottage/quark/ricotta cheese plus 100 grams thick (strained) Greek yoghurt.
You can add some sultanas to the cheesecake mixture and even soak them in a little brandy beforehand, if that’s your thing. If so, simply top the cheesecakes with more brandy-soaked sultanas and lemon or a good creme fraiche.
Preheat the oven to 180℃. Line a 12-cup muffin pan with cupcake/muffin paper liners.
Mix together all the ingredients for the base in a bowl. Use clean hands to press the mixture together until it comes together as a crumbly dough. It may seem that it will not hold together. Don’t worry! Divide the mixture between the muffin cases and press firmly into the base, levelling it out.
Bake for 8 – 10 minutes until slightly golden. Remove from the oven and set on a wire rack to cool slightly. While the base is baking, make the cheesecake batter.
Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl, until smooth and light. The amount of lemon you use is up to you. I love lemon and I like the puckery taste of lemon cheesecake. If you prefer it to be more subtle, then use half the amount of lemon juice and taste test. The same goes for the sweetener (or sugar).
Fill the muffin cases with the cheesecake mixture. Bake at 180℃ for about 30 minutes, or until the filling sets. The tops may crack slightly but that is OK.
Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack. Top with whatever takes your fancy. I simply mixed some blueberries and lemon zest and popped them into the microwave for 10 seconds to warm them through and make a thickish sauce. Delightful 🙂
These cheesecakes are best served at room temperature, or slightly warm. If you have leftovers, store in the refrigerator, well covered (airtight). To serve, zap for 5 – 10 seconds in a microwave, or bring to room temperature before serving.
I’ve provided macros for the plain cheesecakes as per the recipe, above. If you make substitutions, please factor that into the macro count. I have not included toppings as you can basically top them as you please 🙂