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Monday, January 6, 2014

Italian Cheesecake with Berries and Cream

My favorite type of cheesecakes are those made with ricotta cheese.  The flavor is so distinctive, rich and creamy yet lighter then a cream cheese cheesecake.  Orange and lemon zests brighten and flavor the creamy ricotta mixture so nicely.  Many recipes call for no crust, but I need a crust, don't you?!!  This sweet and almondy~amaretti cookie crust pairs with it perfectly.  Add some fresh or macerated berries and cream and you have one delicious and decadent dessert!  Or it can be enjoyed simply as it is with no toppings or just the whipped cream.  An added bonus - ricotta cheesecake has more nutritional value then a cream cheese cheesecake: is a good source of calcium and protein and has less calories :)
 
Crust:
1 cup finely crushed amaretti cookies - amaretti cookies can be found in Italian specialty stores
3 1/2 Tbsps butter, melted  
1Tbsp sugar
Ricotta mixture:
4 cups whole milk ricotta cheese   
1 1/4 cups sugar 
1/4 cup flour                 
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
2 tsps pure vanilla extract                  
1 tsp grated lemon zest
1/2 tsp grated orange zest
5 large eggs
Garnishes:
1 pint fresh berries
1 Tbsp sugar
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
1 1/2 tsps sugar
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
 
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Mix cookie crumbs with butter and sugar and press onto bottom of 9" springform pan.  Bake for 10 minutes, let cool.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment beat together ricotta cheese, sugar and flour on medium until well blended.  Add whipping cream vanilla and zests, mix well.  Add eggs, 1 at a time, mixing just until blended after each addition, then mix until blended well and smooth.  Pour mixture over crust and bake on middle rack for about 1 hour and 10 minutes until center is almost set.
Run knife around rim of pan to loosen cake.  Cool before removing rim of pan.  Refrigerate several hours or overnight. 
Serve with fresh berries or macerate the berries by tossing with 1 Tbps sugar and letting sit for 30 mins to draw out the juices, cover and refrigerate before serving.  Pipe whipped cream around edges of cheesecake.  In a chilled bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, beat on high cold whipping cream, sugar and vanilla until stiff peaks form. You can either top the cheesecake with the berries or serve alongside to top each slice with.  I had to serve mine on the side because my daughter loves plain Italian Cheesecake!
 
 
Enjoy!

2 comments:

  1. My dear,I love your recipe,but this is an "Italian recipe " that is not italian. ;) :)

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    Replies
    1. Hi Claudia ~ I don't understand your comment, would you please explain? Thanks

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