These bite-sized beauties contain just 23 calories a pop, which means you can enjoy a serving of four and still feel virtuous. It's the perfect portion of rich, creamy filling combined with the sweetness of strawberries — a win-win.
- 1 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
- 1 cup low-fat cottage cheese
- 2 egg whites
- ⅓ cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest, plus additional for garnish (optional)
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt or coarse sea salt
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 40 strawberries
- Preheat oven to 300°F.
- In a food processor, blend ricotta cheese and cottage cheese until smooth.
- Add the egg whites, sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice, vanilla, salt and cornstarch. Pulse for a few seconds so everything comes together.
- Liberally coat a 9-inch round pan with nonstick oil spray and pour the cheese mixture into the pan. Bake for 50 minutes. Remove cheesecake from the oven and let it cool. To cool more quickly, place the cheesecake in the freezer for about 15 minutes.
- While the cheesecake is cooling, wash the strawberries and slice off the tips to create a flat surface for the berries to stand on. Then, using a small knife, cut off the green stem and carve out a bit of the inner strawberry to make room to pipe in the cheesecake filling.
- When the cheesecake has cooled, scoop it into a zip-top bag (all at once or in small batches), and push the cheesecake down toward one corner. Using a pair of scissors, cut a small hole in the bottom corner of the bag to create an opening for the cheesecake mixture to flow out. Squeeze the cheesecake filling into each strawberry, using approximately 2 to 3 teaspoons per berry.
- Garnish with the additional lemon zest, if desired. Serves 10 (4 strawberries per serving).