It’s the dead of February, and few things sound more comforting than a decadent slice of cheesecake—specifically a slice made with rich ricotta cheese, like the recipe created by Alon Langleib, the pastry chef of celebrated N.Y.C.-based Italian eatery Sessanta, who used ricotta from organic farmstead cheese company Marcelli Formaggi. “Ricotta is a wonderfully delicious, functional, and versatile ingredient," says Christina Marcelli, a partner of Marcelli Formaggi. "The result of a cheesecake made with ricotta is a heartier texture due to its signature 'graininess.’ You want a cheesecake that can stand up (literally) to its dessert counterparts and hold its shape until the last bite." And with bikini season right around the corner, Marcelli adds that a ricotta cheesecake is also a healthier option due to its lesser amounts of salt and fat. Try the luscious (semi-healthy) recipe below.
Baked Ricotta Cheesecake
Yields 9 pieces
For the Crust
9 oz vanilla cookie crumbs
3 ½ oz warm melted butter
For the Filling
1 lb ricotta cheese
1/2 lb mascarpone cheese
2 tsp heavy cream
4 oz sugar
2 tbsp Marcelli Formaggi Eucalyptus Honey ($16; stores.abruzzopantry.com)
1 oz flour
4 ½ whole eggs, room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract
Zest from 1/4 of an orange
Zest from 1/2 lemon
9-inch springform cake mold
1. To make the crust: In a mixing bowl ,combine crumbs and melted butter and mix for 1 minute until crumbs absorb the butter. Spray the inside of a 9” springform cake mold with nonstick cooking spray. Pour the buttered crumbs inside mold.
2. Spread evenly and push down the crumbs (measuring cup will help). Bake for 7 min on 350°F. Set aside to cool down.
3. To make the filling: Turn the oven on to 300°F. In a bowl of a standing mixer, place ricotta cheese, mascarpone, and heavy cream, and paddle medium-low until smooth, about 4 min.
4. Add sugar and honey and continue mixing. Add the citrus zest. Add flour, and mix to combine.
5. Pour the eggs one at a time, scraping the sides of the bowl each time. Pour vanilla in. Do not over-mix. Place the batter in the springform cake mold. Place it in the middle of the oven.
6. Bake on 300°F for about 50min-1 hour until the outside is set and the center is a little jiggly. Rotate in the middle of the baking process for even distribution (the top crust of the cake should look light brown and have a slightly caramelized color).
7. Let the cake cool completely then place it in the fridge for 4-5 hours or overnight.
8. In a small bowl, mix the compote with the mostocotto reduction.
9. To assemble the plate: Take 3 tbsp of the compote and scoop it in the middle of the plate. Drizzle the mostocotto reduction around the plate. Place a slice of the cake on top of the compote and drizzle eucalyptus honey on top. Sprinkle with powdered sugar.