Italian Ricotta Cheesecake with Meyer Lemon Curd for Valentine’s Day
It is exactly one week away from Valentine’s Day. If you have a Valentine, you are probably trying to figure out what to get them or what to prepare for a romantic dinner.
If you don’t have someone special, then I suggest you get on that and hurry up and find someone. Time’s a-wasting! Of course, baking up one of these cheesecakes might help you in your pursuit! 😉
If you have been perusing food blogs for Valentine’s ideas, I am sure you have had your fill of chocolate and Nutella (especially since it was World Nutella Day this past Saturday). We enjoy chocolate as much as anyone, but we also love cheesecake! I personally adore the really fattening cheesy, rich and decadent cheesecake with pounds of cream cheese, but my Italian hubs prefers a true Italian Ricotta Cheesecake. And after all…it is all about him on Valentine’s Day!
This version is definitely a bit lighter (sort of). I make it with Calabro whole-milk ricotta. I find that it really makes a difference when you use a better ricotta and this is my favorite.
The recipe calls for vanilla and cinnamon, but with all of the Meyer Lemons (remember those?!) that were in my house, I had to include them in everything we have been eating this dessert! I substituted Meyer Lemon zest and Amaretto for the vanilla and cinnamon. We loved the subtle lemon and boozy almond flavors with the cheesecake and would definitely add more next time (if someone hasn’t consumed all the Amaretto!!).
We loved the Meyer Lemon in the cheesecake so much and since we are totally obsessed blessed with a few more jars of Meyer Lemon Curd, we topped the cheesecake with some of that awesome stuff! My hubs still can’t quit licking his spoon!
A citrus glaze would work well as a topping, too. I personally like these flavors with the ricotta cheese more than the vanilla and cinnamon. I’m just sayin’…you can do what you like.
The cheesecake took about an hour an a half to properly cook. The filling was cooked (I checked twice!) although it did not brown at all. I did not want to overcook the cake and dry it out. It stayed moist and creamy and we enjoyed it for days! Then we ran around the block a few times…
If you are looking for an alternative to rich and chocolaty desserts for this Valentine’s Day, I highly recommend baking one of these up for your sweetie!
Italian Ricotta Cheesecake
Adapted quite a bit from Allrecipes.com
Makes one 9 1/2 inch cheesecake
2 pounds ricotta cheese (I used whole-milk Calabro ricotta cheese)
2/3 cup white sugar
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
6 eggs, at room temperature (I used Eggland’s best which tend to be smaller. You might use 5 eggs if they are larger.)
2 teaspoons grated Meyer Lemon zest (I would use 1 tablespoon or more next time)
1 tablespoon Amaretto (I would use 2 tablespoons next time)
1/8 teaspoon salt
Preheat oven to 300 degrees F (150 degrees C). Set rack in the middle of the oven. Butter and flour a 9 1/2 inch springform pan, and tap out excess flour.
Process the ricotta in a food processor until the mixture is smooth, 15 to 30 seconds, scarping down sides of the bowl (the original recipe does not call for this step, but I think it makes the filling much smoother).
Place the ricotta in a large bowl and with a hand mixer, blend the sugar and flour into the ricotta. Stir in the eggs, one at a time. Blend in the Meyer Lemon zest, Amaretto and salt. Pour batter into the prepared pan.
Bake in the center of the oven for about 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 hours, until a light golden color (mine did not brown at all). Make sure the center is fairly firm, and the point of a sharp knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack. It will sink slightly as it cools. Cover, and chill till serving time.
Cut into slices and top with Meyer Lemon Curd or a citrus glaze.