Blueberry Ricotta Cheesecake
by eat in my kitchen
My last cheesecake creation is definitely too long ago, it was a dense treat with lots of orange and lemon flavours, rich in cream cheese with a little addition of Mediterranean ricotta. It was more like a classic New York cheesecake and was so good that for more than a year I haven’t bothered to come up with a new recipe. I baked it all winter, its citrusy richness is just perfect for a cosy tea time, and then in summer, I moved on to our old family recipe for the German version of this cake. German Käsekuchen is made with quark and stiff egg whites which gives it a lighter, fluffier texture, it’s delicious with fresh berries for a Sunday morning brunch on the balcony!
Despite the wintery temperatures, my mood has already moved on to the next season, spring, sunshine and fragrant flowers. This calls for a new cheesecake recipe!
I was after a lighter version so a good amount of the usual cream cheese had to make way for ricotta. For the first time in my life I looked at the amount of fat in both dairy products, something I’m not very interested in most of the time as I want to enjoy my food and not feel guilty. The Italian cheese is definitely the winner (in a good way). It still creates a creamy texture but it’s not as filling. I refined the cheesecake mixture with lots of lemon juice and zest and baked it on top of a base of buttery digestive cookies. A fruity topping brought a spring feeling to the recipe, I brushed the cake with a thin layer of apricot jam and spread lots of crisp blueberries on top. It was amazing, one bite after the other was pure bliss!
Blueberry Ricotta Cheesecake
For a 20.5cm / 8″ springform pan you need
digestive cookies (Graham crackers) 210g / 7.5 ounces
butter, melted, 70g / 2.5 ounces
ricotta, room temperature, 250g / 9 ounces
cream cheese, room temperature, 300g / 10.5 ounces
sugar 100g / 3.5 ounces
vanilla pod, scraped, 1/4
organic eggs 3
cornstarch 1 teaspoon
zest of 1 large lemon
juice of 1 lemon (4 tablespoons)
a pinch of salt
fresh blueberries about 200g / 7 ounces, for the topping
apricot jam 2 tablespoons, for the topping
water 2 tablespoons, for the topping
icing sugar, for the topping
Crush the cookies in a blender until very fine, or in a plastic bag, and mix with the melted butter until combined. Press the mixture into the springform pan and put in the freezer for 15 minutes.
Set the oven to 165°C / 330°F and put a deep tray or roasting tin in the oven on the lowest position. Boil water in a kettle.
Mix the ricotta, cream cheese, sugar, vanilla, eggs, cornstarch, lemon juice, zest and salt with an electric mixer until well combined.
Take the springform pan out of the freezer and wrap it in aluminium foil twice so that the bottom and sides are well covered to protect the cheesecake from the water while it’s baking. Pour the cheesecake mixture on top of the hardened crumbs and place the tin carefully into the tray in the oven. Fill the tray with the boiling water from your kettle. The water should come half way up the wrapped springform pan. Bake for 50 minutes, switch off the oven, open the door a little bit and leave the cake in the oven for about 15 minutes. Take the cheesecake out of the oven, take off the foil but leave the cake in the springform pan. When the cake is completely cool, chill it in the fridge (or outside in winter) for about an hour.
In a sauce pan, bring the jam and water to the boil and cook for about 30 seconds, push through a sieve and brush on the cake. Spread the berries evenly on top of the cake and sprinkle with icing sugar before serving.