Yesterday I started telling you the story of my Thanksgiving project of making a real Italian ricotta cheesecake for Bill (Guglielmo), using his own recipe. We made the candied citron, and today we’re going to make the cheesecake itself. Here are the ingredients:
3 lbs Whole Milk Ricotta Cheese (get a good brand, like Calabro)
1 ½ cups Organic Sugar
8 Large Organic Eggs
2 teaspoons Organic Vanilla Extract
Start by preheating the oven to 375 degrees. Separate the eggs, putting the yolks into a food processor and the whites into the bowl of a mixer. Then add the sugar and the vanilla extract to the egg yolks in the bowl of a food processor and mix for about a minute. Add the ricotta cheese and mix for another 30 seconds or so.
Use the mixer to beat the egg whites on high speed until they form stiff peaks.
Add the beaten egg whites and the ricotta mixture (the bowl on my mixer was very large so I added the ricotta mixture to the egg whites). Add the chopped candied citron and orange peel (I used one of the small jars, about ½ cup) and mix everything together.
Coat two 8 inch spring form pans with generous amounts of butter, and then pour half of the ricotta/egg/citron mixture into each pan.
Bake in the 375 degree oven for 50 minutes, and watch periodically as the mixtures rise in both pans. At the end of the 50 minutes, check and see what the tops look like (see photo); they will have started to turn golden. Continue baking until the tops are deep golden brown and the sides begin to pull away from the pans (you might want to check every 5 – 10 minutes); I took mine out after 70 minutes.
Remove the pans from the oven and let them cool completely on cooling racks. It’s normal for the cheesecake to fall as it cools.
Cover with aluminum foil or plastic wrap and refrigerate. When you’re ready to serve them, release the sides of the spring form pans and cut them into small pieces. You and your guests will agree that this is the best ricotta cheesecake you’ve ever tasted. I hope Bill likes it when we serve it to him after our Thanksgiving dinner tomorrow. Maybe he’ll give me a pointer or two on how I can make it even better the next time I make it.
Happy Thanksgiving to your and your family and friends. I hope it’s full of wonderful memories of Thanksgivings past, and of hope for many more in the future. We truly have a LOT to be thankful for, don’t we?