Thursday, March 02, 2006

Cheesecake for the Pancreatically Challenged

Sometimes I get tired of having to tiptoe around my pancreas, trying to keep it asleep and not squirting much insulin. As long as I stick to a type one diabetes form of eating, I feel mostly okay. All right, I feel less pain and mental fog than if I eat like the normals out there.

Here’s a recipe for cheesecake. It’s small since most of us with wacked-out pancreases live with the normoes. It has the advantage of cooking quickly this way, so I use my toaster oven. It has a convection setting.

Ingredients for crust (if you must have one)

About a 1/3 cup of shredded fresh (or frozen) coconut.
A couple of tablespoons of butter
Whatever artificial sweetner you use ( I send off to Canada for sucaryl since it has no aftertaste)
Using a smallish pie plate (8 inches or so) — or even an oven proof pasta bowl, put the ingredients in bottom and place in oven until the butter melts. Pat the mixture onto the bottom of the pie plate and broil for a few minutes. Stand with it or you’ll have burned coconut. Remove from oven and set aside.

Turn convection toaster oven to 325.

Ingredients for the filling

2 packages of cream cheese, room temp
2 eggs, large, also room temp
(you can microwave the cream cheese in a bowl to speed things up and put the eggs in a bowl of hot water for a few minutes. The pie crust needs to cool a bit anyway.)

Use a wire whip to cream the cheese well. Don’t whip a lot of air into it, just make it very smooth. Add eggs one at a time and stir until very well blended.

Flavorings: I use vanillin (there’s a trace of sugar in real vanilla) and a little bit of powdered lemon flavored drink mix.
If you use the unsweetened, you’ll have to sweeten to taste. If you use the pre-sweetened, go easy since it could overwhelm the cheese — that stuff is strong. You can add a bit of shredded lemon peel, too. Maybe a quarter teaspoon.

Put a metal half cup measuring cup filled with hot water in bottom of toaster oven. It will keep the cream cheese moister than would otherwise be the case. If you forget — it’s still quite edible.

Pour cream cheese mixture into pie plate, smooth the top, and put in oven. Mine takes about twenty minutes to cook. Yours may vary. I cook it until it swells (rather unevenly) and begins to crack. It shouldn’t crack, but sometimes it does.

Remove immediately and leave to cool. When it’s cool, or barely warm, put in freezer for a few minutes if you plan to have a slice soon. Otherwise, cover and place in refrigerator.

This is good with strawberries sliced and tossed with a little artificial sugar. Or a squirt of sugar free whipped cream.

Eat your heart out, because your pancreas will sleep right through it.


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