Since I am always trying to improve and learn, I made a couple of small tweaks to the original recipe. Opting for an all natural ingredient, I exchanged the nonfat sour cream with nonfat Greek yogurt. I also omitted the sugar in the crust since I try to cut back on sugar where I can, and the graham crackers are sweet enough on their own.
You can make a few small cheesecakes, or one big one! For the tiny ones, I piped seedless strawberry jam to make the stripes, and placed a few little blueberries in the corner for the stars. So cute! I got the idea from MyRecipes.com. 🙂 For the big one, I topped it with fresh summer strawberries arranged in a pretty pattern. I also added a few blueberries this time around to make it a little more patriotic.
Based on a recipe from Martha Stewart
6 full graham cracker sheets
1/3 cup almonds
4 tablespoons unsalted melted butter, or just enough until the crust is moistened
2 8-oz bars of Neufchatel cream cheese
1/2 cup nonfat Greek yogurt
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
Pint of fresh strawberries, or blueberries, or whatever you’d like to use for your topping
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
In a food processor, grind the graham crackers and almonds until they are finely ground. Add the butter slowly, and process until moistened. (You may not need the full 4 tablespoons.) Transfer to a 9-inch tart pan or three 3-inch tart pans. Press the mixture firmly into the pan(s) and up the sides. Freeze for 15 minutes.
If you have a second food processor bowl, I’d recommend using it now. Otherwise, just clean your bowl and blade very well. Then process the cream cheese, yogurt, sugar, egg, vanilla, and salt until the mixture is smooth.
Place your tart pan on a rimmed baking sheet and fill with the cheesecake mixture.
Bake until filling is set, about 30 to 35 minutes for the large tart. For the smaller tarts, check the progress at about 20 minutes to ensure you don’t overbake.
Cool completely and decorate as you wish!