This light, ethereal Italian cheesecake is perfect Passover fare. In addition to cream cheese, this Italian version includes sour cream for tang and ricotta for lightness. The citrus zest is a must. The traditional wheat flour is replaced with cake meal.
1 lb. whole milk ricotta cheese
1 lb. cream cheese (or mascarpone)
1 ½ cups granulated sugar
1 stick sweet butter, melted
Pinch of salt
3 large eggs
½ cup cake meal, divided
1 T freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 ½ T pure vanilla extract
Finely grated zest from one orange and one lemon
1. Have all filling ingredients at room temperature. Grease and coat with 2 T cake meal the bottom and sides of a 9 X 3-inch springform pan.
2. In a stand mixer beat together ricotta, sour cream and cream cheese until well mixed.
3. Beat in sugar and then melted butter and pinch of salt.
4. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
5. Add 6 T cake meal, lemon juice, vanilla, and zest, beating until completely mixed.
6. Transfer to prepared pan and bake in a preheated 300 degree oven for one hour.
7. Turn off heat and let cake stay in oven, door closed, for another hour.
8. Remove and let cake cool completely in pan, set on a wire rack. Cover and refrigerate. Remove sides of pan before serving and serve slightly chilled.
In a small saucepan, mash and heat ½ pint of fresh raspberries with 6 oz. raspberry preserves and 1 T Grand Marnier, stirring until syrupy. Strain syrup and mix with ½ pint fresh raspberries. Serve with cheesecake.
Photo by Phyllis Kirigin