For someome who isn't a cheesecake addict, I feel like I've made a lot of them over the years. They've always been contributions to parties, and they work really well for that, easily transportable and well-received. This particular version I did with a friend in mind who is unable to eat sugar. Mango popped into my head and none of my in-house cookbooks had anything alluring, so I began looking on line. Most of this recipe is from a blog called Liv Life, with a couple of adaptations.
I knew I was living dangerously when I thought about putting anything sweetened with Splenda or its generic equivalent in the oven. The "baking" Splenda is actually half sugar, so iunsuitable ffor me here. But baking cake batter uses sugar in a whole different way, to create that structure we fork into with (hopefully) such glee. Cheesecakes are basically custards, and sugar isn't chemically necessary for a custard to bake - viz., a quiche. So I took a deep breath and proceeded.
The easiest thing to do for mango is to buy a bag of frozen mango at Trader Joe's. Some of the comments online remarked that they thought the frozen mango actually had more flavor when used in the cheesecake - my guess is that it depends on what type of fresh mango you've got and how ripe it is. Thaw the mango and throw it in a processor or blender. My food processor didn't yield a silky-smooth puree but It was scarcely noticeable in the finished product. Still, if that's a concern, blenders always are the way to go. You won't use all of the bag's pureed contents in the cheesecake, you'll have a little left for the glaze.
This recipe didn't call for the water bath many cheesecakes do, but I used one anyway. Two pans, your 9- or 10-inch springform, and a larger one that the springform will fit in. Wrap the outside of the springform in a sheet of aluminum foil after your crust is in - I used a pretzel crust here, but have lost that recipe, so you're on your own for that. (But do chop those pretzels finely.) Any graham cracker crust or other crumb crust, or even none at all, will be fine. You're going to bake the cheesecake with the springform pan in a bath of hot water that the larger pan will hold. I used the scalding-hot tap water I have at home, but you may want to put a pan of water on to simmer.
And, as usual for a cheesecake, all the ingredients need to be at room temperature when you begin. Otherwise, that cream cheese will never relax into a smoth batter.
1 8-oz.package reduced fat cream cheese, room temperature
1 8-oz package cream cheese, room temperature
1 scant cup granulated sugar (just a wee bit less tha a cup) or equivalent Splenda or the like
pinch of salt
1 tsp. vanilla extract
3 large eggs
1 1/2 Tbs. flour
1 Tbs. cornstarch
14 oz, about 1 3/4 c. mango puree
juice of 1/2 lime
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
If your mixer has both a whisk and a paddle-type blade, use the paddle. This is not a batter that should have a lot of air incorporated into it. On low speed, mix together the cream cheeses, sugar or sugar substitute, salt and vanilla. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing until each is nearly fully incorporated into the batter. Then add the flour and cornstarch and continue until smooth. Finally, stir in the mango puree and the lime juice.
Have the hot water ready. Put the springform pan into the larger pan. Pour the batter into the springform. Place both pans on the oven shelf and add hot water around the springform. (This is the easiest method for me, and avoids moving a pan of hot water and cheesecake batter off a counter into a hot oven. Ponder your abilities and situation and act accordingly.)
Bake an hour to an hour and15 minutes, or longer. Cheesecakes should look puffy at the edges and still wobble in the middle when you remove them from the oven. And take the cheesecake pan out first, place on a cooling rack and then deal with the water.
Cool at least an hour.
Did the cheesecake crack? Mine did, which sometimes happens. The rest of the mango puree will be used to glaze the cake, so the crack will be invisible.
If you have a little less than the specified amount of mango, that's okay; just cut back a dab on the water and gelatin.
1 1/2 tsp. powdered gelatin
3 Tbs. water.
1/2 cup mango puree
1 tsp lime juice
In a small bowl, sprinkle the gelatin over the water and let it stand for 5 minutes to soak up the water. Heat the mango and lime juice to a boil, add to the gelatin and stir well, so that the gelatin dissolves. Pour over the cheesecake, and tip the cake around to let it cover the top. Let set and then refrigerate.