Lemon Ricotta Cheesecake

Cheesecake just got exciting. The texture of this cheesecake is light and fluffy, yet rich, like a cheesecake should be. It’s creamy, but tangy. Sweet, but not too sweet. Better than the regular old cheesecake? You bet.

I was inspired by a baking disaster I had a few months ago. I made Lemon Ricotta Tarts from Gourmet Magazine, just to find that the results were satisfactory for the amount of time I spent on it – slaving away in the kitchen for hours, following every detail in the ten-step process. I asked myself, how could it be that complicated – isn’t this viagra without prescription just a basic cheesecake, but replacing cream cheese with ricotta instead, and adding lemon flavor?

And indeed it is. I then stumbled on this recipe for Orange-Vanilla Ricotta Cheesecake and modified it to fit what I envisioned before. Here are some of the changes I made:

  • A graham cracker crust instead of a shortbread cookie crust (I’m used to a graham cracker crust for cheesecake)
  • Lemon zest instead of orange zest in the cake
  • Lemon curd and white wine used for the glaze instead of marmalade and vodka

This really also shows how versatile ricotta cheese can be. And since lasagna and ravioli are the most common uses for ricotta cheese, you can be sure I’ll be making this cheesecake the next time I make either one of them!

See all the photos >

Lemon Ricotta Cheesecake

For the crust:
1 1/4 cups graham crackers
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

For the filling:
2 pounds good-quality ricotta cheese, at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
3 large eggs, at room temperature
2 large egg yolks, at room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 teaspoons packed lemon zest, from about 2 medium lemons
1 teaspoon kosher salt

For the topping:
1/2 cup lemon curd
1/3 cup white wine or vodka

—————

For the crust:
Heat the oven to 350ºF and arrange a rack in the middle. Line the bottom of a springform pan with parchment paper.

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Place cookie crumbs and melted butter in a medium bowl and mix until thoroughly combined. Place crumb mix

ture in the pan and, using a measuring cup, press evenly into the bottom. Bake for 10 to 15

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minutes or until golden brown around the edges. Cool completely on a wire rack.

For the filling:
Place ricotta in the bowl of a food processor and blend until smooth. Add sugar and flour and pulse until well incorporated, about 10 (1-second) pulses, then scrape down the sides of the bowl. With the motor running, add eggs and egg yolks one at a time until well incorporated. Add vanilla, lemon zest, and salt and blend until just incorporated. Pour mixture into the prepared pan and smooth the top.

Bake until the center of the cheesecake is set and the edges are golden brown, about 1 hour. Remove to a wire rack and let cool.

For the topping:
Place lemon curd and white wine in a small saucepan over medium heat and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, simmer, and reduce by 1/2, about 10 to 15 minutes. Cool slightly (about 5 minutes) and pour over the cooled cake. Let set before cutting, at least 15 minutes.

ingredients-horizontal.jpg You’ll notice that the cheesecake has a beautiful yellow tint, even before the glaze is poured on. I believe this is from the 5 eggs used in the recipe…

graham-close.jpg Blending graham

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crackers for the crust

crust-pile.jpg Making a basic graham cracker crust

ricotta-smooth.jpg Blending the ricotta until it’s smooth

lemon-zest.jpg Adding lemon zest to the batter. I accidentally added bought these lemons, which have a stamped logo AND a sticker on it. What’s dumb is the logo doesn’t wash off. I’d avoid these for zesting. It’s just annoying.

vanilla-4.jpg Adding lots of vanilla flavor to the batter

pour2.jpg Pouring on the lemon glaze

springform.jpg Releasing the cake from the springform pan. I think this cake has the potential of being taller, fluffier, and more airy. Supposedly, beating the eggs well before adding it into the batter will do the trick. Unfortunately, I’m still waiting for that electric mixer to come…

top-view.jpg Delicious. It’s all gone now. (Note: I forgot to line the bottom of the springform pan with parchment paper – this makes it easier to transport)

See all the photos >

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4 Comments

Got something to say? Feel free, I want to hear from you! Leave a Comment

  1. Nancy Jeng says:

    Hey Paula! I’m at home in Saratoga and your parents are over here for Easter brunch and they told me about your site…. BEAUTIFUL! I enjoyed seeing all your gorgeous photos (especially of your bunny). Hope you’re doing well, can’t wait to see more updates on your site! :)

  2. Kevin says:

    That cheesecake looks so good!

  3. Paula says: (Author)

    @Kevin

    Thanks!

  4. Ricotta Cheesecakes are not my thing but these photos are beautiful and enticing.

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