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2000s Recipes + Menus

Ricotta Cheesecake

Serves6 to 8
  • Active time:15 min
  • Start to finish:2 3/4 hr (includes cooling)
January 2009
The difference between fresh and commercially prepared ricotta is proven dramatically with this cheesecake. Made with the commercial product, it tastes bland and somewhat grainy. When prepared with fresh ricotta, however, the cake dissolves creamily on the tongue and the ricotta’s delicate sweetness shines through clean and true. To further emphasize the ricotta, we keep the other flavors to a minimum—just a smidgen of cinnamon, lemon zest, and vanilla is all you need.

Watch food editor Gina Marie Miraglia Eriquez demonstrate how to make your own fresh ricotta.
  • 3 tablespoons finely crushed amaretti (crisp Italian macaroons) or plain fine dry bread crumbs
  • 2 lb fresh ricotta at room temperature 30 minutes
  • 6 large eggs at room temperature 30 minutes
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
  • 4 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

    an 8-inch springform pan
  • Preheat oven to 325°F with rack in lower third.
  • Lightly butter pan and coat with cookie crumbs, leaving any loose crumbs distributed over bottom of pan.
  • Whisk together remaining ingredients and pour into crust.
  • Bake until puffed and golden but center is still slightly wobbly, about 1 1/2 hours.
  • Cool in pan on a rack (cake will sink a little).
  • Serve cheesecake warm or at room temperature.
Cooks’ notes:
  • Ricotta cheesecake is best eaten the day it is made but can be made 1 day ahead and kept at cool room temperature.
  • We’ve also got a web-exclusive recipe using the leftover amaretti.