Emeril's Lightened up Cheesecake

READY IN: 2hrs 20mins
SERVES: 10-12




  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Grease a 9-inch springform pan with the butter and coat it with the graham cracker crumbs, shaking out any excess.
  • Combine the ricotta with the cream cheese in a bowl until very smooth. Add the egg and egg whites, 1 at a time, stirring until well incorporated. Add 3/4 cup sugar, pinch of salt, 1/2 cup sour cream, 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla, and the lemon zest and beat until very smooth and light, 2 to 3 minutes.
  • Pour the batter into the prepared springform pan. Bake for 45 minutes, then reduce the heat to 300 degrees F and continue baking until the cake is set in the center, about 15 minutes longer. Remove the cake from the oven and let cool for 10 minutes. Reduce the oven to 250 degrees F.
  • In a small bowl, combine the remaining 1 1/2 cups of sour cream, 1/4 cup of the sugar, 2 teaspoons of the amaretto, and the sliced almonds. Stir until the sugar is dissolved. Pour this mixture over the top of the cheesecake and smooth with the back of a spoon or a spatula so that the sour cream mixture evenly covers the top of the cake. Return to the oven and bake for 10 minutes.
  • Remove the cheesecake from the oven and cool on a wire rack. When the cake has cooled to room temperature, refrigerate, covered, overnight or until well chilled.
  • Combine strawberry quarters, remaining tablespoon of sugar, and remaining teaspoon of amaretto in a medium bowl. Allow berries to macerate for 30 minutes.
  • When ready to serve, run a sharp knife under warm water and wipe dry. Run the warmed knife around the edges of the springform pan to release the sides. Remove the springform, slice the cheesecake, and serve with macerated strawberries on the side.