Writer Kristine Gasbarre shared her Ricotta Cheesecake recipe with Relish a few years ago, and we loved it. The recipe originated with Kristine’s great-grandmother, who passed it along to her son. Great-grandma’s native Roman recipes were only handed down to the Italians in the family, and because her son’s wife (Grandma Glo) was not of Roman heritage, Great-grandma dismissed her skill. But shortly after her grandfather’s death, Kristine learned that Grandma Glo was herself an artful cook, who had mastered her mother-in-law’s recipes, including Ricotta Cheesecake.
A traditional Roman cheesecake, Ricotta Cheesecake is made with ricotta, a rich, fresh and slightly grainy cheese. The cake is lighter than one made with cream cheese and more cake-like. We prefer the richness of whole-milk ricotta in this cheesecake, but you can use the lighter part-skim ricotta if you choose.
You can serve this cheesecake with marmalade, but we made quick candied lemon slices, which provided just the right sweet, tart note.
1 1/2 cups crushed almond or hazelnut biscotti
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
16 ounces whole-milk ricotta cheese
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon honey
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon rind
Candied Lemon Slices or orange marmalade (optional)
1. Preheat oven to 325F. Coat bottom and sides of a 9-inch pie plate with cooking spray.
2. In a medium bowl, combine biscotti crumbs and butter. Pour into the bottom of prepared pan and press down firmly. Bake 10 minutes. Let cool. 3. To prepare filling, whisk eggs in large bowl. Add remaining ingredients (except Candied Lemon Slices), and whisk until well combined. 4. Pour filling into crust and bake 50 minutes, until a wooden pick inserted in the center of the pie comes out clean. Top with Candied Lemon Slices, if using. Serves 8.
Per serving: 359 calories, 17g fat, 177mg chol., 13g prot., 20g carbs., 1g fiber, 250mg sodium
Recipe courtesy of Kristine Gasbarre, author of How to Love an American Man
Candied Lemon Slices
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
1. Cut lemon into halves vertically. Cut each half into thin slices. Combine sugar and water in a skillet. Bring to a boil and add lemon. Simmer until lemons are cooked and liquid is reduced, about 10 minutes. Remove and let cool. Place in a jar and store in the refrigerator up to 1 month.