Ricotta Cheesecake with Strawberries Port Glaze
I was so happy to create this recipe because it was all your idea!
Even with all the passion that I have for cooking and how my mind wonders for endless hours about the endless possibilities of mixing and matching ingredients and daydreaming about the dinner parties where I’m going to serve such creations, the truth is that my imagination could sometimes just stop, and that’s when I would have absolutely no idea what to do next for the blog. I don't want to become boring to you guys so I sometimes doubt about what to do next, especially if I did a similar recipe just months before.
I have been loving asking you what I should do next on the blog through my Instagram stories and when I did this the last time cheesecake was the big yes from most of you. So here is your cheesecake recipe guys! I’ve been wanting to make a cheesecake with ricotta and since all my previous cheesecakes recipes are made just with cream cheese, I decided this was the moment to give it a try.
The ricotta here makes this cheesecake more airy and less tart than my previous recipes. And I think the almond biscotti crust also makes it lighter, it’s not as dense and buttery as the traditional graham crust. Of course you can mix and match toppings with the cheesecakes. Even crusts. Maybe you want to try this ricotta cheesecake with the blueberry and lemon topping from my Blueberry Cheesecake with Basil Infused Brown Butter Crust. Sky is the limit! Especially when cooking!
1. I went with some almond biscotti crust here for a change but you can make the traditional graham crust as well.
2. You may use cornstarch instead of all-purpose flour on the cheesecake recipe.
3. When making the port glaze, if you don’t have brown sugar you may substitute with regular sugar. You’ll end up using ¾ cup of sugar.
4. Technically you can eat the cheesecake right just after baked but cheesecakes always develop its flavors after a good amount of hours in the fridge. If you can plan it, my ideal time frame would be to make a cheesecake two days in advance and prepare the topping just hours before serving.
Almond Biscotti Crust
Butter – 8 to 9 TBSP
Biscotti crust – About 20 oz, 25 pieces of the mini ones
Raw sugar – 1 TBSP
Cream cheese, at room temperature – 3 cups (3 - 8oz. boxes)
Ricotta cheese – 2 cups
Raw sugar – 2 cups
Almond extract – 1 TBSP
Vanilla extract – ½ Tsp
Freshly squeezed lemon juice – 1 TBSP (about the juice of a half medium lemon)
Unbleached all-purpose flour (see notes) – 2 TBSP
Large eggs, at room temperature – 5
Strawberry Port Glaze
Water – 1 cup
Raw sugar – ½ cup
Brown sugar (see notes) – ¼ cup
Vanilla extract – 1 Tsp
Port wine – ¾ cup
Cornstarch – 2 TBSP
Fresh strawberries, stem and leaves removed – 2 to 3 cups
Makes a 9” cheesecake
Total time - 2 1/2 hours, plus 8 hours of chilling in the fridge Active time - 30 minutes
Equipment - springform pan, stand mixer or hand electric mixer, food processor
To make the crust: Preheat oven to 350°.
Spray a springform pan with cooking or baking spray.
In a small saucepan melt the butter on medium to low heat.
Place the biscotti pieces with the sugar in the bowl of a food processor already attached to the base. Pulse 4 to 5 times to integrate everything and make the crumbs significantly smaller. Start running the food processor again and pour in the melted butter through the hole lid, just until the crumbs are very fine and compact, about 10 to 15 seconds. If there are still big crumbs of crackers, integrate the crumbs stuck to the wall of the bowl and pulse a couple of seconds more. If the crumbs keep together when you press them they are good to go; if they seem a bit loose start running the food processor and add the extra tablespoon of melted butter.
Transfer the crumbs to the pie dish or the baking pan you will be using. Press onto the bottom and up to the sides, until the crumbs are evenly distributed and you have reached the top edge of the pan with them. You may use a bottom flat small measuring cup or mug to help yourself press down and distribute the crumbs. Bake for 12 minutes. Take out of the oven and let it turned on in 350°. Let the crust cool down while you prepare the filling.
To make the cheesecake: Either in the bowl of a stand up mixer or in a medium bowl using an electric hand mixer, beat together in low speed the ricotta and cream cheese. Add the sugar, almond and vanilla extract, lemon juice and flour. Start adding the eggs one at a time and waiting a few seconds to let each incorporate. Stop the mixing and scrap down the wall of the bowl. Mix just an extra minute to make sure everything is well mixed.
Place springform pan with crust in a baking sheet. Pour filling into it. Place the baking sheet with the pan on the middle rack of the oven. Fill the baking sheet with water thru half. Bake for 1 hour to 1 hour and 15 minutes, until the top has a golden brown color and the center is still wobbly. The cheesecake will probably raise a big during baking but that’s ok; it will come down after cooling. After baked, turn off the oven and let the cheesecake cool down inside for about 45 minutes. Take out of the oven and d let it cool down completely. Cover it with a plastic paper and chill in the fridge for 6 to 8 hours, preferably overnight.
When ready to serve, release the sides of the pan. Place a plastic paper on top of the cheesecake. Place a plate upside down on it. Flip the cheesecake and place it over a counter. Carefully try to release the crust form the pan by finding little spots where you can insert the tip of the fork or a small knife to push up the bottom of the pan. Remove it and place another upside down plate on the crust. Turn again and carefully remove the plastic paper on top of the cheesecake.
To make the glaze: In a small bowl or cup dissolve the cornstarch with 1 tablespoon of the water.
Heat a medium saucepan over medium heat and mix the remaining water, sugars and vanilla until sugar has almost completely dissolved. Gently boil for about 10 minutes. Remove from heat. Add the port wine and while whisking add the diluted cornstarch. Return to heat and cook for about 3 to 5 minutes, whisking frequently until the sauce has thickened. Remove from heat and mix in the strawberries. Let it cool down for a few minutes before pouring over cheesecake.