Mini Lemon Cheesecakes With Almond Cookie Crust

mini lemon cheesecakes
Patsy Catsos, MS, RDN, LD
Total Time 45 min
Prep 20 min, Cook 25 min
Yield 12 (1 cheesecake each)

These creamy cheesecakes made with cottage cheese taste just like traditional ones made with cream cheese, but they are IBS-friendly. They are very easy to make and are a perfect, portion controlled dessert.

To get a smooth texture you will need a food processor or blender. Lactose-free yogurt can be difficult to find; plain Greek yogurt is a suitable alternative in this recipe. See the ingredient variations and substitutions described below for the how-to.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup lactose-free yogurt
  • 4 ounces low-FODMAP cookies  
  • ½ cup toasted whole or sliced almonds
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 2 cups lactose-free cottage cheese
  • 2 tablespoons corn starch
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon zest        
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract         

Preparation

  1. About three hours before you’re planning to make the muffins, place yogurt in a sieve lined with a triple layer of cheesecloth, a coffee filter, or paper towels, and allow whey to drain off until 1/2 cup of thickened yogurt remains. If you overshoot and wind up with too little yogurt, stir some of the whey back in as needed to make 1/2 cup.
  2. Preheat oven to 325F. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper muffin baking liners.
  1. In a blender or food processor, pulse cookies and almonds until crumbs similar to a graham cracker crumb texture form, about 10 pulses. Melt butter on high power in a small microwave-safe bowl, about 30 seconds. Pour the crumbs into the melted butter and mix. Place 2 tablespoons of crumbs in each muffin cup. Press the crumbs down with your fingers on the bottom of the cups and ¼ inch up the sides of liners.
  2. Wash the blender to remove crumbs and dry it out. To the blender, add the cottage cheese, yogurt, and cornstarch and process until smooth, about 1 minute. Scrape down the sides and add sugar, eggs, lemon zest, lemon juice and vanilla to the blender. Process until smooth, 30 to 60 seconds. Scrape down sides and quickly pulse one more time, 5 to 10 seconds.
  3. Pour batter into muffin cups to just below the top edge of liner. If you have leftover batter, pour it into a buttered ramekin to make a crustless cheesecake. Bake until set but not browned, 23 to 26 minutes. When they are cool enough to handle, remove the cheesecakes from the muffin tins and chill in the refrigerator until firm, 1 to 2 hours. Top with low-FODMAP fruit or jam.

    Variations and Substitutions

    Cookies with low-FODMAP ingredients are usually gluten-free. Look for gluten-free shortbread, vanilla wafers, or animal crackers made without high FODMAP sweeteners; the entire recipe will then be gluten-free as well.

    If you can't find lactose-free yogurt, substitute 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt for the strained yogurt in this recipe; one portion will still have less than 1 gram of lactose per serving, likely to be tolerated by most individuals with IBS.

    For a nut-free variation, omit almonds and increase cookie weight to 6 ounces.

    Cooking and Serving Tips

    Cheesecakes can be made without a crust. Pour batter into 8 well-greased 4-5 ounce ramekins. Serve in the ramekins, as they can’t be easily removed.

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