Happy Rose Parade Day! I know all of you want to know the winners of the Great New Year’s Giveaway and I’ll do that tonight. But right now, my friend TC Blue asked for some info on my diabetic version of my mom’s Pineapple Chiffon Cheesecake. And I know Lane Hayes will be interested too!
So here’s the lowdown on the cheesecake. It’s not your standard cheesecake. My Mom Mable made up this recipe and I’m pretty much the only one in the family who knows how to make it. She never wrote it down, but I helped make it many, many times over. What can I say? I’ve got a great memory.
For the full fat, really luscious version of this dessert, use real butter, full fat Philly Cream Cheese, Extra Creamy Cool Whip, dark brown sugar and extra fine baking sugar. Here’s a photo of the full fat version in a 9×13 pan. This is from some years back.
Here’s a photo of the diabetic version I made yesterday in a square 9 3/8 x 9 3/8 pan. The graham cracker crust didn’t turn out as dark without the dark brown sugar. The Splenda brown sugar was more golden brown.
Now, I bet you’re wondering what’s in this thing. Well, here’s a grocery list and you can click the links to see what Fooducate has to say about the sugar, fat and carbs on some of the items:
For the Crust
Cinnamon to taste – I use about 3 – 4 TBS but I like it cinnamony. I put enough for it to turn the graham crackers darker.
Dark Brown Sugar – For diabetics use Splenda or Truvia Brown Sugar Blend. Truvia is pretty much only at Target. Splenda can be found in Walmart and most grocery stores. I’m not sure how much to use. A couple of handfuls is how I measure it. You may need to adjust the taste to your liking depending on how sweet and cinnamony you want the crust.
1 lb Real Butter – You can use whatever margarine you want to replace the real butter. I leave it out to soften for about an hour.
I mix the graham crackers and cinnamon together first. I dump them in the pan and mix with either my fingers or a fork. Make sure they are mixed well and there’s no pockets of cinnamon. Then mix in the brown sugar. Again, make sure it’s mixed well with no lumps of brown sugar, using fingers or a fork. With the Splenda brown sugar, it smells kind of weird, but it won’t taste weird so don’t let that initial smell turn you off.
If you are using cubed butter, nuke one cube at a time to melt. I mix the butter into the graham cracker mix one cube at a time. By the time you get to the last cube the graham crackers should be nice and wet and sticky but you shouldn’t see any puddles of shiny butter anywhere. You can do this with your fingers, but for this part I prefer a fork. (I cook most things with a fork.)
Pull out a couple of fistfuls (about a cup) of the crumbs for topping. Press the remaining graham cracker mix up the sides of the pan first, then level out the bottom. I use a fork to do this. You can put the crust in the fridge to firm up and cool off. Or not. It doesn’t matter really at this point in the process.
For the Filling
Superfine Baking Sugar or Splenda or Truvia Baking Sugar – about a quarter of a cup. I don’t use a lot. You may want to up the sugar to make the filling more sweet.
3 packages of Neufchatel cheese – This stuff tastes just like cream cheese with 1/3 of the fat. But you can use the low or non-fat or full fat Philly Cream Cheese.
1 – 20 oz can of Dole Crushed Pineapple in juice (no heavy syrup!)
1 – 8 oz container of Cool Whip – can substitute Sugar Free Cool Whip or Fat Free Cool Whip or Extra Creamy
2 packets of Knox gelatin (This usually comes in a box of 4 packets.)
You can mix this by hand, it’s not that hard, or use a mixer or a food processor, whatever floats your boat.
I leave the Cool Whip and the Neufchatel cheese out to soften for at least an hour. When the cheese is soft and at room temp I dump all three packages in a large mixing bowl with the baking sugar. Beat the sugar into the cheese.
Drain the pineapple into the cheese mixture bowl. You don’t have to drain the pineapple dry. The rest is going in the bowl later. Beat the pineapple juice into the cream cheese mixture until smooth.
Put the Knox gelatin in a 2 cup measuring cup or small bowl. Add about 3/4 to 1 cup of boiling hot water a little at a time, stirring constantly to ensure the gelatin all melts. Pour the melted gelatin water into the cheese mixture and beat until it’s smooth.
Fold in the pineapple. Make sure it’s blended well. Fold in the thawed Cool Whip and make sure it’s blended well too. Pour the mixture into the crust. Top with the reserved graham cracker mixture. The filling might be runny so be careful when you put the topping on.
Cover with foil or plastic. Chill in the fridge for several hours or overnight until the filling sets. Serve in squares.
This one is set correctly.