Regular style cheesecakes have legions of fans, but once you try the Italian treat that is this ricotta cheesecake recipe you may never go back to the other.
You Oughtta Get Ricotta
Ricotta is a very popular cheese in Italy, finding its way into both savory dishes (lasagna, baked ziti) as well as desserts (cannoli). Italians love their sweets and will find many reasons to stop and have a treat during the day. Whether you are having a cookie or any other pastry, a sweet treat can make your day a little more Italian.
- ¾ cup of sliced, blanched almonds
- ¼ cup of all-purpose flour
- 3 tablespoons of sugar
- Pinch of salt (1/8 teaspoon)
- 1 egg yolk
- ¼ stick of butter melted
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preheat your oven to 325 degrees.
- Spread the almonds out on a cookie sheet that has been lined with parchment paper.
- Toast the almonds for five minutes.
- Remove from oven and let cool.
- Place the toasted almonds, flour, sugar, and salt in a food processor and pulse until the nuts are well chopped.
- In a separate bowl, whisk the egg yolk, cooled melted butter, and vanilla extract.
- Add the wet ingredients to the dry in the food processor and pulse until combined. The mixture should hold tighter when you pinch some together with your fingers.
- Spray a 9-inch spring form pan with non-stick spray.
- Dust the pan with a small amount of all-purpose flour.
- Tap out the excess.
- Press the mixture into the bottom of the pan and up the side about ¼ of an inch.
- Bake the crust in your preheated oven for 10 to 15 minutes.
- Remove from oven and let the crust cool completely.
Ricotta Cheesecake Recipe
Most ricotta cheesecake recipes will ask you to drain the ricotta cheese and this one is no exception. The more moisture you drain from the ricotta the creamier your cake will be.
- 2 pounds of ricotta cheese
- 2/3 cup of sugar
- 4 large eggs
- ¼ cup of heavy cream
- Zest of 1 orange finely chopped
- 1 ½ teaspoons of vanilla extract
- 1 Tablspoon of all purpose flour
- ¼ teaspoon of cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/8 teaspoon of salt (a pinch of salt)
- 1/3 cup of candied orange peel chopped fine (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
- Drain the ricotta cheese by placing it in a strainer lined with cheesecloth or some clean paper towels.
- Let the ricotta drain for at least 30 minutes. The longer you let the cheese drain, the better.
- Place the drained ricotta into a food processor and process it until it is smooth.
- Add the sugar and process it until the sugar is completely incorporated.
- Add the eggs, cream, zest, vanilla, flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt and process until fully incorporated.
- If you want to use the candied orange peel, remove the mixture from the food processor and fold in the diced peel by hand.
- Pour the batter into the pan and bake for one hour.
- Then turn off the oven and let sit for 15 minutes.
- Open the door of your oven and let the cake cool in the oven for 20 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and let completely cool on a rack until room temperature.
- Refrigerate for at least 6 hours before serving.
Tips and Hints
- This recipe does not call for a water bath.
- You may want to bake your cake on a sheet pan just in case the spring form pan leaks.
- To make candied orange zest at home, you will need the following recipe:
Candied Orange Peel Recipe
- 4 large oranges, washed
- 1 cup of water
- 1 cup of sugar
- ½ cup of sugar
- Cut the ends off of the oranges.
- Cut the oranges into quarters.
- Carefully cut the peel off of the oranges.
- Try your best to get off as much of the pith (the white part) as you can. But, it does not have to be perfect.
- Fill a saucepan with cold water and place the peels into the water.
- Bring to a boil.
- Remove the peels and discard the water.
- Do this two more times.
- Once the orange peels have been blanched three times, put them aside.
- Put the water and 1 cup of sugar into a saucepan.
- Heat over medium heat until the sugar has completely dissolved.
- Add the peels and lower the heat to a low flame.
- Let the peels simmer in the sugar water for at least an hour.
- Remove the peels and let cool.
- Remove any of the remaining pith. It should come off easily now.
- Roll the peels in the ½ cup of sugar.
- Spread the peels out on a sheet of parchment paper and let cool.
- Any leftover peel can be dipped in melted chocolate, saved for future use, or just munched on.