The December issue of EatingWell features some truly spectacular recipes for cranberries-and this Cranberry-Lime Cheesecake is the jewel of the collection. It is as delicious as it is beautiful: creamy, light and luscious, with a tang of lime and a sweet-tart crimson-red topping of cranberries briefly simmered with a little sugar and more lime juice. What makes it EatingWell? A graham cracker crust that needs no butter and a filling made with reduced-fat cream cheese and part-skim ricotta cheese, blended smooth.

Easy-to-Follow Video: Watch This Cheesecake Being Made

The cheesecake bakes in a water bath, which helps it cook all the way through and keep its smooth complexion. The longest and hardest part of this recipe is waiting for the cheesecake to chill for three hours. Put this gorgeous dessert on the pedestal it deserves, and serve it forth to an appreciative crowd.

  • Cranberry-Lime Cheesecake
  • Pin It! Print It! Make It! Share It!
  • Healthy Heart
  • Makes: 12 servings
  • Active time: 40 minutes Total: 7 hours (including cooling & chilling times)
  • To make ahead: Prepare through Step 6, tightly wrap the cold cheesecake and refrigerate for up to 1 day. Hold topping at room temperature for up to 4 hours or cover and refrigerate for up to 1 day.
  • Equipment: 9-inch springform pan, heavy-duty foil

One bite of this light and airy cranberry-lime cheesecake recipe and it will become your go-to recipe for dessert. Part-skim ricotta cheese adds a delicate texture and stands in for some of the higher-fat cream cheese. Be sure to use a large, wide piece of heavy-duty foil to wrap the pan-the foil helps prevent water from seeping into the cake as it bakes.

1 cup graham cracker crumbs, preferably whole-wheat (see Tips)
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 15-ounce container part-skim ricotta cheese
2 8-ounce packages reduced-fat cream cheese, at room temperature
2 limes, zested and juiced
4 large eggs
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 cups fresh cranberries
1/2 cup water
1/3 cup sugar
Pinch of salt
1 lime, juiced
1 tablespoon cornstarch

1. To prepare cheesecake: Preheat oven to 325°F. Coat a 9-inch springform pan with cooking spray. Tightly wrap the outside of the pan, bottom and sides, with a large piece of heavy-duty foil. Put a kettle of water on to boil for the water bath.

2. Combine graham cracker crumbs and oil in a small bowl. Press into the bottom of the prepared pan.

3. Process ricotta in a food processor (or blender) until smooth. Add cream cheese and puree until smooth. Add 2 teaspoons of the lime zest, 5 tablespoons of the lime juice, eggs, 1 cup sugar, vanilla and 1/2 teaspoon salt; process until smooth. Scrape into the prepared crust.

4. Place the cheesecake in a roasting pan. Pour enough boiling water into the roasting pan to come 1 inch up the side of the springform pan to create a hot water bath for the cake. Carefully transfer the roasting pan to the center of the oven. Bake the cheesecake until set around the edges but the center still jiggles slightly, 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 hours.

5. Transfer the roasting pan to a wire rack. Let the cheesecake cool in the water bath until the water is room temperature, about 2 hours.

6. Remove the pan from the water bath. Remove the foil. Refrigerate, uncovered, until very cold, at least 3 hours.

7. To prepare topping: Combine cranberries, water, 1/3 cup sugar and pinch of salt in a medium nonreactive saucepan (see Tips). Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Combine 2 tablespoons lime juice and cornstarch; stir into the pan. Cook, stirring, until thickened, about 1 minute. Let cool completely before spooning onto the cheesecake.

Per serving: 318 calories; 15 g fat (7 g sat, 5 g mono); 101 mg cholesterol; 36 g carbohydrate; 25 g added sugars; 10 g protein; 1 g fiber; 349 mg sodium; 161 mg potassium. Nutrition bonus: Calcium (16% daily value).

Make your own graham cracker crumbs, pulse graham crackers in a food processor or place in a sealable plastic bag and crush with a rolling pin. You'll need 6 to 7 graham crackers to make 1 cup of crumbs.

Be sure to use a nonreactive pan baking dish or bowl-stainless-steel, enamel-coated or glass-when cooking with acidic food (citrus, cranberries, tomatoes) to prevent the food from reacting with the pan. Reactive pans, such as aluminum and cast-iron, can impart off colors and/or flavors.