Photo: Oxmoor House
16 servings (serving size: 1 slice cheesecake and about 2 tablespoons topping)

We use the entire vanilla bean, so none of it is wasted: The seeds flavor the cheesecake, and the bean halves flavor the topping.

Up to two months ahead: Both the cheesecake and the topping can be made up to 3 days ahead and stored separately in the refrigerator. Or make the cheesecake up to 2 months ahead and freeze. Before freezing, chill the cooled cheesecake in the pan for 2 hours; then wrap pan in a heavy-duty plastic wrap. Thaw the cheesecake in the refrigerator.

How to Make It

Step 1

Preheat oven to 400°.

Step 2

To prepare crust, combine first 3 ingredients, tossing with a fork. Add 2 teaspoons water; toss with a fork until moist and crumbly. Gently press mixture into bottom and 1 1/2 inches up sides of a 9-inch springform pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 400° for 5 minutes; cool on a wire rack.

Step 3

Reduce oven temperature to 325°.

Step 4

To prepare filling, beat cheeses with a mixer at high speed until smooth. Combine 1 cup sugar, flour, and salt, stirring with a whisk. Add to cheese mixture; beat well. Add sour cream; beat well. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in vanilla extract. Scrape seeds from vanilla bean; stir seeds into cheese mixture, reserving bean halves.

Step 5

Pour cheese mixture into prepared pan; bake at 325° for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until cheesecake center barely moves when pan is touched. Remove cheesecake from oven; run a knife around outside edge. Cool to room temperature. Cover and chill at least 8 hours.

Step 6

To prepare topping, combine port, 1/2 cup sugar, cherries, and reserved vanilla bean halves in a large saucepan; bring to a boil. Cook 5 minutes or until cherries are thawed and mixture is syrupy. Remove vanilla bean halves; discard.

Step 7

Combine juice, cornstarch, and 4 teaspoons water, stirring with a whisk until well blended. Stir cornstarch mixture into cherry mixture; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer 3 minutes or until mixture is slightly thickened and shiny. Remove from heat; cool to room temperature. Cover and chill. Serve over cheesecake.

Also appeared in: Oxmoor House, None, 2013,Cooking Light Lighten Up, America!

Ratings & Reviews

Tinkerbell0914's Review

July 22, 2013

ammycek's Review

December 06, 2012

JasonBurn's Review

September 12, 2012

Jsearcy1601's Review

September 01, 2012

1CouplesKitchen's Review

February 27, 2012
We loved this recipe! I actually used the cheesecake recipe from this and used a blueberry topping recipe from Martha Stewart because a guest of mine specifically asked for blueberry. This cheesecake is very creamy and you don't feel like you are getting "cheated" because of a lower calorie/fat recipe. Check out our full review with pics here:

sarate's Review

September 17, 2010
I've never made a better cheesecake, low fat or otherwise. The texture was creamy perfection - silky, substantial, and, as my guests put it, DECADENT. Use the bain marie water bath method for spot-on baking (look it up - I tried it for the first time with this recipe, and it's worth it!). I don't think I'll ever have need for another cheesecake recipe ever again, honestly!

Linz2001um's Review

June 22, 2009
I thought this was good and my guests liked it but I wish it had a stronger vanilla taste. Also- I had no idea how ridiculously expensive vanilla bean is ($10.69 at my local store!!). I don't know if I'll make this again for that reason alone!

almeyer1010's Review

May 01, 2009
I have made this recipe on two occasions. The first time I brought it to a friends dinner party. It was so decadent - no one believed it was light. The second time I made it just for my family and it was perfect again. This recipe is a keeper!

GailFromIrvine's Review

February 21, 2009
I was craving cheesecake with less fat and this did the trick. The stores near me only had non-fat cream cheese in tubs, so I increased the flour by 1/2 tablespoon. Increased the sugar by 1/2 cup. Added grated lemon zest from 1/2 lemon. I think the cheesecake would be excellent with strawberries. Think Carnegie Deli New York, but way better for you. Enjoy!

MonicaMN's Review

January 10, 2009
Wow. I just made this for fun not expecting it to taste so great. I had no vanilla beans, so skipped and it was still great. I served it to guests the next day and they didn't believe it was light. Thanks! I found it just as good as the full fat/calorie version.