LYNN’S RICOTTA CHEESECAKE

CHEESECAKE IS PROBLEMATICAL.  NO MATTER HOW FLAVORFUL THE FILLING OR CRUNCHY THE CRUST, AFTER A FEW BITES YOU FEEL LIKE YOU'RE EATING A BRICK.  BECAUSE THE CLASSIC NEW YORK CHEESECAKE IS MADE WITH CREAM CHEESE IT NEVER TRANSCENDS THAT DENSITY.  LYNN, OUR RESIDENT DESSERT CHEF, FOUND A BRILLIANT SOLUTION TO THIS PROBLEM WHEN, SWEARING TO SECRECY, SHE WHEEDLED THE RECIPE FROM A PROFESSIONAL BAKER.  INSPIRED BY THE ITALIANS, LYNN SUBSTITUTED FRESH RICOTTA FOR CREAM CHEESE, WHICH IS LIGHTER AND FLUFFIER.  THE MASTER RECIPE IS SIMPLY A COLLAPSED SOUFFLÉ.  BEATEN EGG WHITES ARE FOLDED INTO THE RICOTTA AND EGG YOLK BASE, THEN BAKED IN A GRAHAM CRACKER SHELL.  RISEN AND BROWNED, IT COOLS IN THE OVEN, THEN TO ROOM TEMPERATURE, THEN REFRIGERATED, AND FINALLY SERVED COOL BUT NOT COLD.  NOTHING ELSE NEEDS TO BE SAID OTHER THAN THIS:  LYNN'S RICOTTA CHEESECAKE IS THE BEST CHEESECAKE YOU WILL EVER EAT.

CRUST
 1 PACKAGE OF GRAHAM CRACKER CRUMBS
 ¼ cup GRANULATED SUGAR
 12 tbsp SWEET BUTTER
 1 9" FALSE BOTTOM CAKE PAN
FILLING
 1 lb WHOLE MILK RICOTTA
 1 pt SOUR CREAM
 5 EGGS
 1 cup GRANULATED SUGAR
 2 LEMONS
 1 tsp VANILLA EXTRACT

1

CRUST
2

MELT 1 1/2 STICKS OF SWEET BUTTER.

USING A FORK BLEND 2 CUPS OF GRAHAM CRACKER CRUMBS IN A BOWL WITH 1/4 CUP SUGAR. BLEND MELTED BUTTER. ADD MORE CRUMBS AS NEEDED TO MAKE A PASTE-LIKE DOUGH.

LINE CAKE PAN WITH DOUGH BY FIRMLY PRESSING IT INTO THE SIDES AND BOTTOM WITH YOUR FINGERS. REFRIGERATE OVERNIGHT OR FOR AT LEAST 2 HOURS.

FILLING AND BAKING
3

PREHEAT OVEN TO 350º. PLACE RACK IN THE CENTER OF THE OVEN.

SEPARATE 5 EGGS. PLACE YOLKS IN THE BOWL OF A STANDING MIXER.

ZEST LEMONS WITH A GRATER OR MICROPLANE.

BLEND RICOTTA, SOUR CREAM, SUGAR, LEMON ZEST, AND 1 TBSP LEMON JUICE. ADD TO MIXING BOWL WITH EGG YOLKS.

BEAT EGG WHITES TO FIRM PEAKS BUT NOT DRY WITH 1 TSP OF VANILLA EXTRACT.

USING A LARGE RUBBER SPATULA, FOLD WHITES INTO RICOTTA BASE.

POUR INTO CRUST AND BAKE 1 HOUR.

TURN OVEN OFF. USING A POT HOLDER, LEAVE OVEN DOOR SLIGHTLY AJAR FOR 1 HOUR.

REMOVE FROM THE OVEN AND ALLOW TO COOL FOR 1 HOUR.

REFRIGERATE AT LEAST 2 HOURS BEFORE SERVING.

UNCLAMP SPRING FORM AND REMOVE THE SIDES.

TAKE CHEESECAKE FROM THE FRIDGE 30 MINUTES BEFORE SERVING.

SERVES 10

Ingredients

CRUST
 1 PACKAGE OF GRAHAM CRACKER CRUMBS
 ¼ cup GRANULATED SUGAR
 12 tbsp SWEET BUTTER
 1 9" FALSE BOTTOM CAKE PAN
FILLING
 1 lb WHOLE MILK RICOTTA
 1 pt SOUR CREAM
 5 EGGS
 1 cup GRANULATED SUGAR
 2 LEMONS
 1 tsp VANILLA EXTRACT

Directions

1

CRUST
2

MELT 1 1/2 STICKS OF SWEET BUTTER.

USING A FORK BLEND 2 CUPS OF GRAHAM CRACKER CRUMBS IN A BOWL WITH 1/4 CUP SUGAR. BLEND MELTED BUTTER. ADD MORE CRUMBS AS NEEDED TO MAKE A PASTE-LIKE DOUGH.

LINE CAKE PAN WITH DOUGH BY FIRMLY PRESSING IT INTO THE SIDES AND BOTTOM WITH YOUR FINGERS. REFRIGERATE OVERNIGHT OR FOR AT LEAST 2 HOURS.

FILLING AND BAKING
3

PREHEAT OVEN TO 350º. PLACE RACK IN THE CENTER OF THE OVEN.

SEPARATE 5 EGGS. PLACE YOLKS IN THE BOWL OF A STANDING MIXER.

ZEST LEMONS WITH A GRATER OR MICROPLANE.

BLEND RICOTTA, SOUR CREAM, SUGAR, LEMON ZEST, AND 1 TBSP LEMON JUICE. ADD TO MIXING BOWL WITH EGG YOLKS.

BEAT EGG WHITES TO FIRM PEAKS BUT NOT DRY WITH 1 TSP OF VANILLA EXTRACT.

USING A LARGE RUBBER SPATULA, FOLD WHITES INTO RICOTTA BASE.

POUR INTO CRUST AND BAKE 1 HOUR.

TURN OVEN OFF. USING A POT HOLDER, LEAVE OVEN DOOR SLIGHTLY AJAR FOR 1 HOUR.

REMOVE FROM THE OVEN AND ALLOW TO COOL FOR 1 HOUR.

REFRIGERATE AT LEAST 2 HOURS BEFORE SERVING.

UNCLAMP SPRING FORM AND REMOVE THE SIDES.

TAKE CHEESECAKE FROM THE FRIDGE 30 MINUTES BEFORE SERVING.

SERVES 10

LYNN’S RICOTTA CHEESECAKE
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