Ricotta Cheesecake with Homemade Ricotta~

Adapted from Thirty Cheeses to Make at Home and The Joy of Cooking via my sister, Mary


Ricotta

1/2 gallon whole milk
1 cup heavy cream
7 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 t salt

Squeeze the lemons. It took 3 small lemons to make 7 Tablespoons. (2 large for me)

Put all the ingredients into a pan over medium low heat.   Allow mixture to heat for 45 to 50 minutes until temperature reaches 165 to 170 degrees.  Stir the mixture once or twice

to avoid sticking.  But don’t stir too much otherwise the ricotta curds will be too small.

Increase heat slightly for another 7 to 8 minutes or until it reaches 200 to 205 degrees on the edges and in the middle.

Remove ricotta from the heat and allow it to rest for 15 minutes.  Line a colander with a double thickness of damp cheesecloth.  Pour the curds into the colander.  Allow the ricotta to drain for 20 minutes.

Makes 16 ounces of yummy light slightly lemony ricotta.  Perfect for pasta, salads or even cheesecake.

 

Ricotta, Part B: The Cheesecake~

16 ounces fresh whole milk ricotta, drained (They said 20 ounces, but I had only made 16 ounces)

12 ounce cream cheese, room temperature (use full fat, not reduced or fat free cream cheese) (They said 8 ounces, but I put in 4 more to make up for the ricotta short fall)

1 cup (200 grams) granulated white sugar

1 tablespoon cornstarch (Beff, I think you can skip this.  I’ve seen other recipes without any corn starch)

4 large eggs, room temperature

They also said to add the zest of 1 lemon and 1 1/2 teaspoons of vanilla, but I left both of these out because the cheesecake I was trying to match didn’t have any vanilla and the ricotta already had a slightly lemony flavor so I didn’t need this. (I added vanilla and some lemon extract).

I mixed the ricotta and cream cheese until smooth and then added the sugar and beat it for another 2-3 minutes.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl while beating to make sure everything is incorporated.

Add the eggs and beat in one at a time.  I forgot to let the eggs come to room temperature.  I have no idea how this affected the final product.

Double wrap the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan with aluminum foil and place it in a bain marie with the water (hot)  coming about 1/2 way up the pan.  Pour the batter in.  At this point you may ask yourself where is the nasty graham cracker crust? That gritty vile stuff that totally messes up a perfectly good cheesecake?  Yes, it’s totally unnecessary and so it will come no where near my awesome cheesecake. (Gosh, that's my favorite part of the cheesecake!!)

Place the cheesecake in the 350-degree preheated oven for about 1 hour and 10 minutes.  Then take it out and marvel at the weird souffle-ness of your creation and wonder what the heck is up with that.

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