Ricotta Cheescake, Italian Style

Adapted from Moosewood Cookbook
Preparation time: 15 minutes of work, plus 50 minutes to bake
Yield: About 8 servings
src="../images/strawberries.jpg" align="right" />NOTE: I prefer to use whole milk ricotta for this. Although it will work with part-skim ricotta, the whole milk cheese gives it a much richer, smoother texture.

A little soft butter for the pan
A little flour for the pan
2 pounds (or 2 15-ounce containers) ricotta cheese
2 or 3 large eggs
2/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup unbleached white flour
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon grated lemon rind
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Optional toppings:
Fresh berries
Berry Sauce (recipe follows)

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Butter the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan, and dust it lightly with flour.
  2. Place the ricotta, eggs, sugar, flour, vanilla and almond extracts, salt, lemon zest, and lemon juice in a good processor and whip everything together until smooth. (You can also beat the mixture with an electric mixer or by hand, in a large bowl.)
  3. Pour the batter into the prepared pan, and spread it into place.
  4. Bake in the middle of the oven for 50 minutes, or until it feels solid when pressed lightly in the center. Cool completely before serving, then cover tightly with plastic wrap, and chill until cold.
  5. Serve with fresh berries, or with Berry Sauce, if desired.
Berry Sauce

Adapted from Moosewood Cookbook
Preparation time: 5 minutes
Yield: About 3/4 cup (easily multiplied)

Lovely, light, and easy, this sauce consists of barely-sweetened berries, which get purÚed and then strained until smooth. It goes well on many desserts, especially Ricotta Cheesecake (above).

NOTE: If you make this with frozen, unsweetened berries, defrost them first, but do not drain them. The liquid becomes part of the sauce.

1 cup fresh or frozen/unsweetened berries (any kind)
1 to 2 tablespoons sugar
A few drops of fresh lemon or lime juice
  1. Place all ingredients in a blender or food processor and purée.
  2. Strain through a fine sieve to separate out the discard the seeds (if any). Taste to adjust sugar and lemon juice.
  3. Transfer to a container, cover tightly, and refrigerate until use. This sauce keeps very well for a week or longer.
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