Low Calorie Mini Cheesecake Bites

My neighbor introduced me to finger limes the other day and what a treat they are!  The finger lime tree is native to Australia and grows nicely in a few areas of the USA including SoCal.  The lemon lime citrus like fruit within the small oblong fruit is like ‘mini caviar’.  The pleasant citrus tang is within the small vesicle like fruit just under the peel.

The finger lime tree is actually thousands of years old but has become popular in recent years with Chef’s due to the fruits crisp clean tangy taste.  The tiny vesicles creat pops of flavor and can be used in sauces, salads, drinks, desserts and other applications.  The fruit is typically in season in the early fall and can command over $100 a pound when it is available!

Here is a recipe I came up with that is a low calorie creamy delight with a burst of citrus from the finger lime garnish.  You could bake these in a small kitchen in a convection or toaster oven or while camping or make a batch in advance of a camping trip and freeze them in a freezer zip top bag for up to 3 months.  Feel free to enjoy the sweet delights without a garnish or substitute the garnish by topping the individual bites with a blueberry or raspberry.

Makes 20 individual mini cheesecakes

75 calories min cheesecake bites

Ingredients

8 oz                 reduced calorie block of cream cheese

1                      egg

1/4 cup            organic or regular sugar

1/2 tsp             vanilla

10                    vanilla wafers or 1 cylinder of Dewey’s Meyer lemon cookie thins (Costco)

2 tbsp.             softened butter

20                    raspberries or blueberries or 2 tsp of finger lime ‘caviar like vesicles’

Directions

  1. Preheat convection oven to 325 degrees F.
  2.  Lightly butter a mini muffin pan that fits in your oven.
  3.  On a flexible cutting board, crush the cookie wafer with a rolling pin or the side of a glass or bottle.
  4.  Add 1 tbsp. of softened butter to the cookie crumbs and combine thoroughly with the crumbs.
  5.  Add a tsp of crust crumble to each muffin mold on the pan; gently press the crumble mixture to form a crust.
  6. In a medium bowl combine the cream cheese, sugar, egg and vanilla using a whisk or hand mixer.  Combine thoroughly.
  7. Add a tsp of cheesecake filling on top of each crust.
  8.  Bake in a preheated oven for 13 – 14 minutes or until the cheesecake filling is set.
  9.  Garnish as desired and serve.  Refrigerate or freeze any leftovers.

Note:  If using a small mini muffin pan, repeat the filling and baking process 1 – 2 times as needed for the 20 servings.  Refrigerate the filling between baking, as needed.

My cookbook Small Kitchen Big Flavors! is available at a great Introductory Price on Ebay and my blog site at : http:/smallkitchenbigflavorsblog.wordpress.com

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