Sicilian Lemon Ricotta Cheesecake

  • 1561-lemon ricotta cheesecake

  • CAKE:
  • Two 15-oz. containers whole-milk ricotta
  • 1 Tbsp. unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 Tbsp. plus 1 cup sugar (for less sugar you can use “C&H Sugar & Stevia” blend)
  • 3 Tbsp. unseasoned dry breadcrumbs
  • Two 8-oz. packages cream cheese, room temperature, cut into cubes
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 3 Tbsp. salt-free matzo meal
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh lemon zest
  • 3 tsp. lemon juice powder (optional) – available at gourmet stores or online
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/8 tsp. kosher salt
  • 2 lemons
  • 4 egg yolks, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 4 Tbsp. butter, cold
  • 8″-diameter spring form pan with 2 1/2″-high sides
  • unflavored dental floss (to cut the cake)
  1. Put ricotta in a large fine-mesh strainer set over a bowl. Drain for 30 minutes.
  2. Arrange rack in lower third of oven and preheat to 350°. Grease an 8″ spring form pan with 2 1/2″-high sides with butter.
  3. Mix 1 Tbsp. sugar and breadcrumbs in a small bowl; sprinkle into buttered pan to coat sides and bottom. Tap out excess crumbs.
  4. Transfer ricotta to a processor. Purée for 15 seconds. Scrape down sides of processor; purée until smooth.
  5. Add cream cheese; purée until smooth. Add the remaining sugar and all other ingredients; purée, scraping down sides occasionally, until smooth, about 30 seconds.
  6. Scrape batter into prepared pan.
  7. Bake cheesecake until golden brown and just set, about 1 hour 15 minutes. The middle of the cake may still be a little “wobbly”, but not very much. If the whole cake is still wobbly, bake for another 5-10 minutes. ***The “toothpick test” does not work with this cake…***
  8. Transfer to a rack and let cool in pan (cake will fall slightly).
  9. Refrigerate uncovered until cool, about 3 hours. Then cover and chill overnight.
  10. Prepare Lemon Curd topping:
  11. Zest the lemons. Juice the lemons. In a bowl mix together the egg yolks and sugar until smooth.Stir in lemon juice and zest. In a saucepan, over medium heat, bring to a simmer. Continue cooking, stirring constantly until the mixture coats the back of a spoon. Stir in the butter 1 Tbsp. at a time. Cover lemon curd with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
  12. The next day, wrap a warm towel around spring form pan to release the cake. Gently remove pan sides.
  13. Top with lemon curd to taste. You don’t have to use all of the lemon curd for the topping – I usually have some lemon curd leftover and serve a dollop with each slice of cake).
  14. Refrigerate until ready to serve (see floss tip below).
Additional Tips

1. This cake needs to be refrigerated overnight, plan to make the cake the day before you want to serve it. 2. Right before serving, pre-slice the cake into 8 pieces by using a long string of unflavored dental floss – cutting this ultra-moist cake with a knife is very messy! Serve and enjoy!

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