Cheesecake holds a special place in my heart. It's the first dessert I learned to bake as a teenager. Back in those days, cheesecake didn't come in flavors like pumpkin or chocolate. They were classic NY style, the kind with a sour cream topping. Rich, creamy, and very decadent. One way to lighten it up is by reducing the cream cheese and replacing it with ricotta. The disadvantage is these cheesecakes tend to be grainy, at times dry, and often lacking in flavor. But not this one. It's smooth as silk and is absolutely perfect! Can't stop eating it. Make it for a crowd and watch it disappear! As an added bonus, it's red, white, and blue.
Happy 4th of July!
Ricotta cheesecake with glazed berries
- 10 small amaretti cookies
- 12 oz. whole milk ricotta, drained
- 2- 8 oz. pkgs cream cheese (do not use light), at room temperature.
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup honey
- zest of 1 large lemon
- 4 large eggs
Preheat oven to 350F. Butter the bottom and sides of a 9" springform pan. Wrap the outside of the pan in 2 layers of foil.
In a food processor with the blade attachment, crush the cookies until they are fine. Spread them evenly over the bottom of the springform pan and set aside. Using a clean food processor with the blade attachment, add the ricotta and process until smooth. Add the cream cheese and the sugar and blend well, occasionally scraping down the sides of the bowl. Add honey and lemon zest. Add the eggs, and process only until blended.
Pour the mixture into the prepared pan. Place the pan in a large roasting pan and pour enough hot water to come up a little less than halfway up the side of the pan. Bake 1 hour and 5 minutes or until slightly browned and the center of the cake jiggles slightly when gently shaken. The top should feel firm when lightly pressed.
Transfer to a rack and allow to cool for 1 hour. Gently remove the ring. Refrigerate for 6-8 hours before serving.
tips for success:
- Use a good quality ricotta. I love the one made by Maplebrook Farms. It's available from Whole Foods. To drain, simply place it in a small strainer set over a bowl and allow it to sit for about 30 minutes.
- Use a food processor, not a mixer.
- 1 cup blueberries
- 1 cup raspberries
- 1/2 cup strawberry jelly
In a small saucepan on low heat, warm the jelly. Off heat, add the berries, tossing very gently to coat. Allow to cool to room temperature and pour over cheesecake a few hours before serving.
Recipe adapted from Giada De Laurentis
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