A taste of New York…. baked ricotta cheesecake !

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A typical New York cheesecake is made with cream cheese and sour cream but mine today is a taste of Italian New York.

The best cheesecake I ever tasted was a ricotta baked cheesecake from Venieros in New York. This is where you can also get sugar free cookies and carb free cakes if you are watching your calories !

I remember coming back home after my visit and trying to make a similar baked ricotta cheesecake and this is now one of my favorite desserts. You can leave it plain or top it with fruit and give it a glaze. It is a good basic recipe and you can be creative and add chocolate or other flavorings and toppings. I like the slight grittiness in the texture that the ricotta gives and it has more flavor than the smooth and satiny cream cheese version.

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You will need :

22cm springform cake tin

For the sour cream pastry
200g butter, cut into cubes
250g flour
125 ml sour cream, I used plain yoghurt this time and the result was great

For the cheesecake filling:
4 eggs, separated
700 g ricotta
80ml cream
200g sugar
Few drops vanilla
Zest of 1 lemon

Icing sugar, for dusting or this time I used fruit and glazed it with warm apricot jam

To make the pastry rub the butter and flour until it looks like fine breadcrumbs. Add the sour crea, and mix into the dough using a palette knife. Add sour cream and give it a few more pulses until the dough comes together. Wrap the dough in cling film and store in the fridge 30 minutes.

Roll the dough into 3mm thickness, make sure it is wide enough to cover the bottom of the tin. Drape the pastry over the tin, then gently press the pastry to sides to fill all corners, let the excess hang over the edges of the tin. Place the tin in refrigerator to let it set.

Beat the ricotta mixer on high speed until light and fluffy. Turn the speed down to low, then add the egg yolks and keep beating until combined and there are no lumps.

In a clean large mixing bowl, add egg white and sugar, whisk until soft peak. Pour the cheesecake mixture into the meringue, fold gently until combined.

Preheat oven to 180C. Remove the springform tin lined with pastry from the refrigerator, pour the cheese mixture into the tin but without filling to the top, by leaving an inch from the top.

Bake the cheesecake in the oven for 1 hour. Then let the cheesecake cool in oven. Remove from tin and transfer to refrigerator to let it set overnight.

Dust icing sugar or decorate with fruit and glaze with warm apricot jam.

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I used the same recipe adding a spoon of cornstarch to the ingredients above with a digestive biscuit base instead of the pastry and simply dusted icing on the top.

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