Adapted from Delish.com
1-1/2 cups graham-cracker crumbs
6 Tablespoons (unsalted) butter or margarine, melted
2 Tablespoons sugar
1-1/2 packages (8oz each) light cream cheese (Neufchatel), softened
1/2 cup sugar (I used Splenda, no problems)
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons freshly grated lemon peel (I omitted this)
1-1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 cup fresh pitted, halved, ripe black cherries (or 1 cup lite canned cherry-pie filling if you aren't lucky enough to have fresh.)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9-inch square baking pan. Line pan with foil, extending foil over rim; grease foil.
- Prepare crust: In bowl, with fork, stir graham-cracker crumbs, butter and sugar until blended. With hand, press mixture onto bottom of prepared pan. Bake 10 minutes. Cool completely in pan on wire rack.
- Prepare filling: In small bowl, with mixer at medium speed, beat cream cheese until smooth. Gradually beat in sugar (or splenda). Beat in eggs, lemon peel and vanilla extract just until blended.
- Pour cream-cheese mixture evenly over cooled crust. Sprinkle cherries evenly over mixture, gently pressing a few of the cherries into the the cheesecake.
- Bake until a toothpick inserted int he center comes out clean, about 45 minutes. Cool completely in pan on wire rack; refrigerate until ready to serve.
- When cold, use foil overhang to lift cheesecake out of pan; place on cutting board and peel foil away from sides. Cut lengthwise into 2 strips, then cut each strip crosswise into 2 squares. Cut each square diagonally into quarters.