Over the past 18 months I like to think I have perfected this cheesecake. Last night I made if for the first time without a recipe and it was fab.
Try and use 'real ricotta' for this recipe. Here I refer to the slabs you buy by the kilogram at your deli or supermarket deli. The prepackaged ricotta will suffice, but the texture is quite different and it has a host of additional ingredients to make it last a lot longer. I used to buy hot ricotta directly from the factory in Melbourne, and it would only last a couple of days, in comparison the prepackaged ricotta have very long expiry dates.
You can adapt the ingredients in the filling: if you don't like sultanas, don't use them. Same for preserved orange. My sister adds a little bit of dark cooking chocolate, but I'm not such a fan. Also, taste the filling once you've made it and add sugar etc as required.
1 quantity of shortcrust pastry made with 250gms flour, and 125 gms butter. (Refer previous recipe in blog.)
500gms fresh ricotta
1/2 cup sugar
vanilla bean (or equivalent)
2 slices preserved orange, diced
2 tablespoons brandy or desert wine
grated rind of 1 orange
grated rind of 1 lemon
1/3 cup pine nuts
1 egg beaten with a tbs milk for top pastry.
1/2 cup sultanas
small quantity of dark chocolate roughly chopped
1-2 tbs cream
- Butter a 22 cm spring form cake tin or square/rectangular quiche tin.
- Roll out pastry and line cake tin. (Reserving around a quarter for the top). Prick pastry with fork.
- Line pastry with baking paper and put baking beans in.
- Cook in 170 degree oven for 15 minutes. Take out, remove baking paper and beans and cook for 5 more minutes. Take out and cool. (This is referred to as a 'blind bake'.)
- Reserve any of the unused pastry for top of cheesecake.
- Soak preserved orange and sultanas in alcohol for around 10 minutes.
- Combine all the filling ingredients and lightly whisk.
- Pour mixture into pie shell and sprinkle top with pinenuts.
- Roll out remaining pastry and cut into strips.
- Create a lattice effect with remaining pastry and brush with egg mixture.
- Bake in 180 degree oven for 45 minutes. You may need to move the cake around in the oven, and watch the top for burning.
- Allow to cool before serving.