Eating In: Greek Yogurt Cheesecake with Pomegranate Syrup

It’s the holidays (am I right or am I right? What madness…) and inevitably that means that at some point you’re going to have to make a dessert. And sometimes, somebody already called the chocolate dessert, and somebody called the pie, and if you have to make another tray of cookies you’re going to punch somebody in the face.

So, courtesy of Bon Appétit, I bring you: Greek Yogurt Cheesecake! It’s make-ahead (god bless), it’s light-ish after a big holiday feast, and it’s even the right color combo for Christmas (look at that gorgeous deep red).

Greek Yogurt Cheesecake

The cheesecake does start with a piece of specialty equipment – a springform pan (sorry, hope you can borrow one from your Mom too) – and a simple graham cracker crust. Classic.

That goes to chill for a while. Then, once it’s pretty well chilled, you can start making the filling.  This is actually a no-bake cheesecake (so no cracking here – I understand that’s an issue with regular cheesecake), so it keeps itself together using gelatin.

Gelatin Being Prepped

That gets blended in with some cream cheese, some Greek yogurt, some vanilla, some lemon…and poured into the crust to chill for a good long while. (This is that whole make-ahead thing. Do not try this on the day of your party.)

Poured Cheesecake

At some point in this whole process (maybe while the crust is chilling?) you can make the pomegranate syrup – or rather, pomegranate caramel, as I found it acted more like a caramel than a syrup. By that I mean, it got very hard when chilled, though it did loosen up a bit when reheated.

Pomegranate Syrup

Just before serving, you de-pan the cheesecake (de-springform? un-mold?), drizzle on the syrup/caramel, and sprinkle with pomegranate seeds! So pretty. And you’ll note that I only have one photo of the finished cheesecake – because it got eaten too quickly to take any more. A pretty good endorsement, I’d say.

Greek Yogurt Cheesecake

Greek Yogurt Cheesecake With Pomegranate Syrup
By Cynthia Wong, as seen in Bon Appétit

Some words of warning – whether I did something incorrectly  or not, when I made this the pomegranate syrup was definitely not super pourable without some decent reheating, and it cooled and hardened to a chewy caramel FAST on the cheesecake. It tasted good regardless, but be sure not to put the syrup on until just before serving – it doesn’t look nearly as pretty after sitting. Oh, and as I mentioned, this is make-ahead by necessity – do not attempt on party day.

Yield: 8-10 Servings

Ingredients
Crust
Nonstick vegetable oil spray
1 1/2 cups fine graham cracker crumbs
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted, cooled slightly
1/4 cup sugar

Filling
2 teaspoons powdered gelatin
1 1/2 pounds cream cheese, room temperature
1 1/2 cups plain whole-milk Greek yogurt
3/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

Pomegranate Syrup And Assembly
2 cups flash-pasteurized pomegranate juice
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
Pomegranate seeds

Directions
Crust
Coat bottom and sides of pan with nonstick spray. Line bottom with a parchment-paper round. Using your fingertips, mix remaining ingredients in a medium bowl until mixture holds together when pinched tightly. Pack onto bottom of pan in an even layer (using the bottom of a flat measuring cup works well). Chill until firm, at least 1 hour or up to 1 day.

Filling
Place gelatin and 1 1/2 tablespoon cold water in a heatproof bowl. Let stand until softened, 5-10 minutes.

Pulse cream cheese, yogurt, sugar, lemon juice, vanilla, and salt in a food processor, scraping down sides as needed, until completely smooth.

Pour water to a depth of 1/2-inch into a small skillet over medium heat. Place bowl with gelatin in skillet; stir until gelatin dissolves, about 2 minutes. Remove bowl from skillet.

With processor running, drizzle gelatin into cream cheese mixture; mix until well blended. Pour into prepared crust. Tap pan firmly on the counter to break up any big air bubbles. Smooth top. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and chill for at least 6 hours before serving.

Pomegranate Syrup And Assembly
Bring first 3 ingredients to a simmer in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat; simmer, whisking occasionally, until syrup is thickened, shiny, and measures a generous 1/2 cup, 35-40 minutes. Let cool.

Cut cheesecake into slices, dipping knife into a large glass of warm water and wiping dry between slices, and place on plates. Drizzle pomegranate syrup over and scatter pomegranate seeds around.

Note: Cheesecake can be made 2 days ahead. Keep chilled. Pomegranate syrup can be made 5 days ahead. Cover; chill. Rewarm slightly before serving.

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