A fabulous take on cheesecake, with ricotta cheese. Only 6 ingredients!
- 3/4 cup (150g) sugar + more for the pan
- 1 1/2 pounds (750g) whole milk ricotta, at room tº
- 6 eggs, at room tº
- 1/4 cup (30g) all-purpose flour
- Zest of 2 oranges (any size)
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Preheat oven to 350ºF /180ºC.
- Butter a 9-inch round cake pan with removable bottom and dust with sugar, shaking off excess.
- In a large bowl mix ricotta and orange zest. You can beat this for a minute or so if you want a smoother texture. I don’t do it.
- Add the flour, HALF the sugar, and mix well.
- Separate eggs, one by one, putting the yolks into the bowl with the ricotta mixture and the whites in another clean (very clean and dry, with no traces of oil or grease) bowl. I use the stand mixer for the whites and put them directly in the mixing bowl.
- Try using an extra small bowl for cracking each egg so you don’t run the risk of the tiniest bit of yolk getting into the whites since it will prevent them from beating as they should.
- Beat whites for 30 seconds and gradually add the remaining HALF of the sugar while beating at medium speed.
- Keep on beating at high speed until it foams and triples in volume, but soft peaks form when the beater is lifted.
- With a spatula, add the beaten egg whites to the ricotta mixture in 3 parts. Add the next part after almost incorporating the last part.
- After the third part is added make sure the mixture is combined. Don’t over mix it so it rises well in the oven and the texture is airy.
- Put in the prepared pan smoothing the surface and bake for 50-55 minutes, or until it’s golden but the center of the cheesecake still wiggles when lightly shaken, similar to brownies.
- Let cool 10 minutes and run a smooth knife all around the sides to make sure it is not stuck.
- Let cool completely in the pan before transferring it to the serving plate. I like to wrap it in plastic and put it in the fridge for a few hours or until the next day.
Flavoring ricotta cheesecakes (or cakes)
- Citrus, use your favorite: lemon, lime, tangerine, a mix of all of them, you name it.
- Ground spices, such as cinnamon, cardamom, maybe nutmeg, pumpkin spice mix. Whatever you love more.
- Extracts (coffee, aniseed, almond, maple, there are so many to choose from)
- Liquors like Cointreau or Grand Marnier (orange), Frangelico (hazelnut), Amaretto (almond), limoncello (lemon) or any other sweet or fruity one you like.
- A combination of the above, maybe almond extract and spice, or cinnamon with orange zest.
I like to beat the whites to medium-soft peaks; that way the batter is more fluid and the cake is creamier.
And have them at room t°, that is the way to maximize the volume when they are beaten.
If you must substitute ricotta, you can use cottage cheese that has been processed with some cream cheese.
To turn this into a lemon cheesecake, simply substitute the orange zest for lemon zest.
- Adding lemon juice: the combination of both zest and juice gives it a more intense and balanced flavor. But don’t overdo it with the juice or you’ll change the texture. You can add up to 1 tablespoon of lemon juice. If your cheese is dry this would be perfect, but if your ricotta cheese is on the wet side, I suggest you let it drain for a while.