Italian Ricotta Cheesecake


Italian Ricotta Cheesecake is one of the great classic dishes of Italy. A decadent and delicious dessert that is easy to make.

INGREDIENTS

Pastry Base
300g plain flour
175g butter, softened
60g caster sugar
2 tblsp Marsala wine
2 egg yolks

Filling
900g ricotta cheese
200g caster sugar
250ml thickened cream
50g plain flour
6 eggs
Grated rind of 2 lemons
Grated rind of 2 oranges

METHOD

Pastry
First prepare pastry dough. Using an electric mixer, beat flour, butter, sugar, Marsala and egg yolks until just combined. Shape dough into a ball and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 180 degrees celsius. Using a 25cm springform cake tin, press three quarters of pastry dough onto the bottom and up sides of the tin. Leave a 2cm gap between pastry and the top of the sides of the tin. Refrigerate the remaining dough.

Bake pastry case for 15 minutes or until golden. Remove from oven and set on a wire rack to cool.

Filling
Press ricotta cheese through a fine sieve into a large bowl. Using an electric mixer, beat ricotta until just smooth. Slowly beat in caster sugar, scraping down sides of bowl often. Add cream, flour, eggs and orange and lemon zest. Beat until well blended. Pour mixture into pastry case.

On a lightly floured surface, roll out remaining dough with a rolling pin to 25 x 12.5cm. Cut dough lengthways into ten 1cm strips. Place five of the strips 1 inch apart across filling. Arrange remaining five strips at right angles to make a lattice type pattern. Trim the ends of the strips to the edge of the pastry case.

Bake cheesecake at 180 degrees celsius for 1 1/4 hours. Turn oven off and leave cheesecake in the oven for a further hour with the door slightly ajar. Remove cheesecake from the oven and stand on a wire rack. Allow cheesecake to cool completely in the tin. When completely cool, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for a minimum of 4 hours.

When cheesecake is firm, run a flat blade knife around the edge of the cheesecake and remove the sides of tin. Serve cheesecake dusted with icing sugar and decorate with orange twists.


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