For months our friend Bobby has been talking about Ricotta Cheesecake. We had dinner at their home on Saturday and I decided to surprise him and make one. I scoured my Italian cookbooks and then my
baking cookbooks and couldn’t find a recipe. I turned to the internet and found three that use only ricotta cheese.
All three were similar. Each required 6 eggs, the quantity of ricotta varied from 1 1/2 to 2 pounds, sugar from 2/3 to 3/4 cup, salt from none to 1/4 teaspoon and allrecipes.com included 1/3 cup flour. The flavorings varied from vanilla and salt to the zest of either an orange or lemon, or both, and cinnamon.
I opted for two pounds whole milk ricotta cheese and 2/3 cup sugar to add a subtle amount of sweetness. There’s lots of moisture in the cheese and eggs so I decided to use a starch to maintain structure and reduce weeping, which is moisture that accumulates on top of custard-based desserts. I chose cornstarch for it’s delicate texture, compared to wheat flour, which has a tighter structure.
Salt is a given, it highlights flavor. Next I added four large eggs. The batter was too thick so I added one more and the consistency was just right. For flavorings I liked the idea of both orange and lemon zest and a healthy dose of vanilla extract to round things out.
Scrape the batter into a greased springform pan and bake at 300 degrees F for 80 minutes or until the cake is just set in the center, it will jiggle a little.
The cake was a huge success! I thought the sweetness, texture and flavors were just what I hoped for. Bobby loved it, which made me a very happy girl!
This is such an easy cheesecake to make. Combine everything in a bowl, scrape into a prepared springform pan and bake. Best if made the day before.
- Prep Time: 20 mins
- Cook Time: 70 - 80 mins
- Total Time: 1 hour 40 mins
- Yield: serves 10-12
- Category: Dessert
2 pounds whole milk ricotta cheese
2/3 cup granulated sugar, plus more for the pan
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
5 large eggs
zest of 1 medium orange, about 1 tablespoon
zest of 1 large lemon, about 1 1/2 teaspoons
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
Preheat the oven to 300ºF and lightly grease a 9-inch springform pan. Sprinkle a generous tablespoon of sugar over the bottom of the pan and turn on a slant to coat the sides; shake out the excess sugar.
Place the ricotta cheese and sugar in a mixing bowl and beat with a whisk attachment until combined.
Mix in the cornstarch and salt.
Add the eggs, all at once is fine, and whisk until well blended.
Finally, stir in the orange and lemon zests and vanilla.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake on the middle rack of the preheated oven for 70-80 minutes. The cake is done when it’s set in the center is set, but still jiggles a little, and the sides are lightly golden brown.
Remove the to a cooling rack and cool for 5 minutes. At this point you want to loosen the cake from the sides of the springform pan with a sharp knife. Just run it along the side. Now you can unsnap the side of the pan or not. I was traveling with my cake and wanted to leave the sides on for protection. Once the cake has cooled, refrigerate.
About 1 hour before dessert, take the cake out of the refrigerator to bring to room temperature.
To freeze: cover the cool cheesecake with plastic wrap and freeze. The next day, cover tightly with more plastic wrap or foil. Use a vacuum sealer if you have it. Use within 3 months.
Keywords: Italian-style cheesecake, cheesecake, ricotta cheese, dessert, dairy