Baked Maple Cheesecake—Prototype 1:
 
Vermont was on my mind for this one. Shopping for maple sugar, unlike maple syrup, wasn't exactly an easy task, but I wanted a high enough concentration of maple flavor for this recipe, without using too much liquid (hence my preference for maple sugar over maple syrup). I was able to pick up some of this sugar at what seemed like a specialty store in the Green Mountain State.
 
Crust:
4 oz. whipped lowfat cottage cheese (such as Hood, no salt added)
1/4 cup maple sugar
1/4 cup skim milk
Thoroughly blend these above 3 ingredients together. Afterward, quickly and vigorously mix in:
2.2 oz. finely ground Bran Buds

Grease a springform pan, 9". For best results take the bath approach—wrap this pan up to the sides with foil, in order to suppress water leaks (heavy-duty aluminum is a good choice).

Mix thoroughly together:
2 tablespoons butter, softened or melted
1/2 cup maple sugar
Then blend in:
1 teaspoon lemon juice
Then mix in:
2 cups (such as a 16-ounce container) of lowfat cottage cheese (such as Hood, no salt added)—whip this in a blender just until the curds no longer show, before adding to the above ingredients.
Next add:
1/2 cup skim milk
Follow up gradually with a dry combination of:
1/4 cup flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
Completely mix all of the above ingredients used so far, then finally add:
2 eggs (last ingredient here)—aim to get these at least fully mixed in (yet without overbeating, if possible).

Make sure that the oven is preheated to 300 degrees. If using the bath approach, have enough boiling hot water available, and fill a large "tub" with it and place this in the oven, close to halfway up.

Pour the batter into the springform pan. Next, put this pan into the oven. If using the bath approach, place the springform pan immediately above the "tub" (not into it!). Bake for about 90 minutes. Afterward, take the springform pan out of the oven, and let the cheesecake cool off. After it has cooled down to about room temperature, carefully remove it from the pan, and refrigerate.
 
Nice presence of maple flavor for a first prototype, at least for the batter, although I felt that the crust could use more sweetness and flavor.
 
Baked Maple Cheesecake—Prototype 2:

Repeat Prototype 1, but boost the crust's maple sugar by 1/4 cup, to 1/2 cup.
 
The crust had a decent, maple taste this time.
 
Baked Maple Cheesecake—Prototype 3:
 
A lot of time elapsed between this maple prototype and the one before it. So I decided to bring some things up to date. One of them was for more batter—but not more crust. Therefore the cottage cheese, maple sugar, lemon juice and flour would get boosted here. Another feature involved pre-baking the crust, due to it being very wet at the start.

This is also the first maple prototype to be baked in the Frieling pan (nearly 9 1/2" big) that I received as a gift.
 
Crust:
1/2 cup (4 oz.) whipped lowfat cottage cheese
1/2 cup maple sugar
1/4 cup skim milk
2.2 oz. finely ground Bran Buds

Pour this into pan and pre-bake at 300 degrees for 10 minutes, then allow to cool to touch.

Batter:
2 tablespoons butter, softened or melted
2/3 cup maple sugar
1/2 tablespoon lemon juice
2 1/4 cups (20 oz.) whipped lowfat cottage cheese
1/2 cup skim milk
1/3 cup flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 eggs

Pour batter on top of crust in pan, and bake in hot tub at 300 degrees for about 100 minutes (if using a pan almost 9 1/2 inches big). Cool off in pan afterward, then remove from pan, and refrigerate.
 
Still delicious—the taste reminded me of pancakes with maple syrup—and another terrific hit at Living Hope Church in Beverly.
 
Baked Maple Cheesecake—Prototype 4:
 
This one's a Fall 2012 update, yogurt cheese, arrowroot and all.
 
2-to-1 Blend of Yogurt Cheese and Cottage Cheese:
Prepare ahead of time 16 ounces of yogurt cheese, derived from one 32-ounce container of nonfat yogurt. If the resulting yogurt cheese falls below 16 ounces, add back enough of the whey (that was strained out from the yogurt) to make up the difference. To this yogurt cheese combine 8 ounces (1 cup) of whipped, lowfat cottage cheese.

Crust:
1 oz. melted, white chocolate
4 oz. (1/2 cup) 2-to-1 blend of yogurt cheese and cottage cheese (see above)
1/4 cup maple sugar
1/4 teaspoon maple flavoring
1.1 oz. Bran Buds, ground up

Pour this crust mixture into pan (9 to 9 1/2 inches) and pre-bake without tub at 300 degrees for 5 minutes, then cool enough to comfortably touch at least the pan's upper sidewall.

Batter:
2 tablespoons melted or softened butter
5/8 cup maple sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 1/3 tablespoons arrowroot
1/4 teaspoon salt
20 oz. (2 1/2 cups) 2-to-1 blend of yogurt cheese and cottage cheese (see above)
1 teaspoon maple flavoring
2 eggs

Pour on top of crust. Then bake in tub at 300 degrees for 60 minutes (if using a 9 1/2" pan), cool (outside of oven and tub) for an hour, remove from pan and refrigerate.
 
This one had a great balance of maple flavor and "cheesey" taste with (at least what I have felt to be) the right amount of tartness!

And it fared nicely at Living Hope.

I also brought some of this cheesecake to Lesa and her dart team at Beverly's Italian Community Center, where it was well-received. Rick, from another ICC-based team, seemed to especially enjoy this dessert.
 
Baked Maple Cheesecake—Prototype 5:
 
With this one, maple finally gets the double-size treatment for the first time—and also a few updates (reflecting what was recently done with other flavors such as pumpkin) for Fall 2013.
 
2-to-1 Blend of Yogurt Cheese and Cottage Cheese:
Prepare ahead of time 2 pounds of yogurt cheese, derived from two 32-ounce containers of nonfat yogurt. If the resulting yogurt cheese falls below 32 ounces, add back enough of the whey (that was strained out from the yogurt) to make up the difference. To this yogurt cheese combine 16 ounces (1 pint) of whipped, lowfat cottage cheese.

Crust:
2 oz. melted, white chocolate
8 oz. (1 cup) 2-to-1 blend of yogurt cheese and cottage cheese (see above)
1/2 cup maple sugar
1/2 teaspoon maple flavoring
2 oz. All-Bran, ground up

Pour this crust mixture into pan (9 to 9 1/2 inches) and pre-bake without tub at 300 degrees for 10 minutes, then cool enough to comfortably touch at least the pan's upper sidewall.

Batter:
4 tablespoons melted or softened butter
1 1/4 cups maple sugar
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons arrowroot
40 oz. (5 cups) 2-to-1 blend of yogurt cheese and cottage cheese (see above)
2 teaspoons maple flavoring
4 eggs

Pour the batter over the crust and bake this cheesecake in a tub at 300 degrees for 100 minutes (if using a 9 1/2" pan). Then cool the cheesecake down while still in oven (with this oven shut off) and in tub with door slightly ajar for an hour. Afterwards, remove from oven and tub and continue to cool down at room temperature for another 100 minutes, then remove from pan and refrigerate.

Maple Cheesecake—Prototype 5

I initially made this one with the intention of serving it at my church, Living Hope. But, due to the death and funeral of one of my relatives, I had to cancel my church plans. However, I got the idea of serving this cheesecake at a post-funeral meal which took place at my cousin Joanne's home. So I brought the cheesecake there, and my relatives and others ended up enjoying this cheesecake much more than I anticipated. A little more than 3/4 of it was gone by the time I left—that was even better than my "loaded" chocolate cheesecake (Prototype 17), which I brought to our annual cousins' summer reunion (at my cousin Robin's house) a few months ago, in the summer of 2013.

I brought some of the leftover to darts. However, Steve (Lesa's friend) commented that this cheesecake was "too heavy" on the maple flavor. I personally felt that the taste had just the right balance. Maybe Steve had a far better ability than me to pick up the maple's presence. But perhaps this could also reflect individual preferences. I personally like a very generous amount of maple syrup on my pancakes, because I really want to pick up that maple flavor. However, others like Steve may prefer a very light amount. Anyway, I felt no real urge for the future to "tone down" the maple, which I tended to regard as a relatively mellow flavor.

About a year later (October 2014 to be more specific), I made this prototype again and this time served it at Living Hope. The cheesecake was gone in about half an hour, among a somewhat small selection of snacks (but also with many women away on a church-related retreat).
 
Baked Maple Cheesecake—Prototype 6:
 
Another flavor gets updated in the fall of 2015! This latest maple prototype is based upon my major cheesecake batter overhaul earlier that year.
 
3-Cheese Blend (1CT-1NC-4YG):
Prepare ahead of time 32 ounces of yogurt cheese, derived from two 32-ounce containers (that's 64 ounces altogether) of nonfat yogurt. If the resulting yogurt cheese falls below 32 ounces, add back enough of the whey (that was strained out from the yogurt) to make up the difference. To this yogurt cheese combine 8 ounces of whipped, lowfat cottage cheese and 8 ounces of softened Neufchatel cheese ("light cream cheese").

Crust:
2 oz. melted, white chocolate
8 oz. (1 cup) 3-cheese blend (see above)
1/2 cup maple sugar
1/2 teaspoon maple flavoring
2 oz. All-Bran, ground up

Place the resulting mixture in a greased 9 1/2" (or 9") pan and pre-bake without tub at 300 degrees for 5-10 minutes, depending on the mixture's thickness (closer to 10 minutes if thin enough to be fully distributed across the pan's bottom by gentle shaking, closer to 5 minutes if thick enough to require spreading out this mixture by pressing on it with a utensil and/or fingers), then cool enough to comfortably touch at least the pan's upper sidewall.

Batter:
40 oz. (5 cups) 3-cheese blend (see above)
1 1/4 cups maple sugar
1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon (5 tablespoons altogether) arrowroot
2 teaspoons maple flavoring
5 eggs

Pour the batter over the crust and bake this cheesecake in a tub at 300 degrees for 110 minutes (if using a 9 1/2" pan). Then cool the cheesecake down while still in oven (with this oven shut off) and in tub with door slightly ajar for an hour. Afterwards, remove from oven and tub and continue to cool down at room temperature for another 110 minutes, then remove from pan and refrigerate.

Maple Cheesecake—Prototype 6

This one had a nice maple-and-cheese taste to it. Well over 3/4 of it was gone within about an hour at Living Hope Church (the cheesecake was served among a modest selection of other snacks).
 

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