Sicilian Ricotta Cheesecake

The beauty of this cake is that it is mostly just fragranced ricotta cheese and eggs; only 2/3 cup sugar and 1/3 cup flour to 1kg of fresh ricotta. It’s not super sweet and it is so light unlike it’s cousin from New York. This is a baked cheesecake that does not require a biscuit base and tt puffs up like a big soufflé as it bakes and then settles into itself as it cools.

There is such a small ratio of dry to wet ingredients that you could probably substitute the sugar for a non-sugar alternative if that’s a concern. Subtly spiced with a hint of ground cinnamon and orange zest, it needs nothing more than to be topped with fresh blueberries and dusted with icing sugar.

I’ve had versions of this cake punctuated with sultanas, chocolate chips, or even a dash of amaretto, but I suggest you try the simplicity of the zest and cinnamon before adding anything more.

INGREDIENTS

1kg fresh ricotta
6 eggs
2/3 cup caster sugar
1/3 cup plain flour
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Zest of 1 orange
1 tsp vanilla essence

METHOD

Beat ricotta until smooth trying to remove as many lumps as possible. A stand mixer fitted with the beating attachment will make this an easier process.

Add eggs one at a time while beating.

Add sugar, flour, vanilla essence and beat until well combined.

Fold through zest and cinnamon.

Pour into prepared spring form tin (10inch) and bake on 150C for 90mins or until the centre is firm and a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean.

If you want the rustic-looking rolls, give it about 10-15 minutes to cool in the tin before carefully removing to cool on a wire rack. If you prefer a more structured appearance like a traditional cheesecake, allow to cool almost completely in the tin until it has completely fallen in the centre then remove from the tin to cool completely on a wire rack.

Keep refrigerated once cool but bring to room temperature before serving.

Top with fresh berries and dust with icing sugar.

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