Sunday, August 26, 2007

Ricotta Cheesecake with Fresh Berry Topping

Last weekend we stopped off at a farmer's market on our way back from Marc's parents chalet in the country. We bought freshly picked organic strawberries, raspberries, tomatoes, and a basil plant! Of course, there was no way I way going to be able to use up 2 pints of strawberries and a pint of raspberries in a week so I froze half the strawberries and raspberries. I went on a search for the perfect recipe to use the berries for and my search ended when I came across this recipe! The reviews were good, it's relatively low in fat, we love cheesecake, and we love berries...plus we were invited to our friend's Ida and Max (my taste-testers extraordinaire!) on Friday night so I had the perfect excuse to try out a new dessert!

I made a few minor changes. I didn't use homemade ricotta, instead I bought 2 cartons of low-fat ricotta (I like the Saputo brand the best). I also didn't use any blueberries, instead I used 1 pint of strawberries and 1 pint of raspberries - it was more than enough! I also didn't measure the lemon rind, I just grated the rind of one lemon directly into the bowl - I think I might have had about a tablespoon instead of a teaspoon - it was a big lemon! This was also super easy to make, it took 10 minutes to put together before it went in the oven! It was ready after an hour and 10 minutes.

So after trying it, I have to say I wasn't impressed. Maybe it was just because it wasn't what I was expecting. The flavour was awesome but I wasn't crazy about the texture. Max loved it but I think the rest of us weren't in agreement! It just wasn't creamy enough, like a cheesecake should be. Perhaps, if I decide to make this again I will replace half the ricotta with cream cheese. This dessert should definitely be paired with berries though, it definitely made the dessert!

Ricotta Cheesecake with Fresh Berry Topping

You'll need to make at least 1 1/2 batches of Homemade Ricotta Cheese for this luscious dessert. Although cream cheese-based cheesecakes are served chilled, ricotta cheesecakes are often enjoyed warm or at room temperature. If you've made this dessert in advance, cover and refrigerate, then let it stand at room temperature for 30 minutes before serving. While a shiny metal pan makes a delicious cheesecake, a dark metal or nonstick pan consistently gave us a taller, lightly browned cake.


Picture Courtesy of Cooking Light


Ingredients


Cheesecake:
4 cups (2 pounds) Homemade Ricotta Cheese
1 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon grated lemon rind
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 large eggs
Cooking spray
1 tablespoon powdered sugar


Topping:
2 cups quartered strawberries
1 pint fresh raspberries
1 pint fresh blueberries
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Mint sprigs (optional)

Preparation

Preheat oven to 350°.

To prepare cheesecake, place first 5 ingredients in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed 2 minutes or until smooth. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Pour batter into a 10-inch springform pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350° for 1 hour or until cheesecake center barely moves when pan is touched. Remove cheesecake from oven; run a knife around the outside edge of cheesecake. Cool slightly; remove outer ring from pan. Sprinkle cheesecake evenly with powdered sugar.

To prepare topping, combine berries, 2 tablespoons granulated sugar, and juice; toss gently to combine. Let stand 5 minutes. Serve berry mixture with cheesecake. Garnish with mint sprigs, if desired.

Yield: 12 servings (serving size: 1 cheesecake wedge and about 1/2 cup berry mixture)

Nutritional Information
CALORIES 286(32% from fat); FAT 10.2g (sat 5.6g,mono 3.1g,poly 0.7g); PROTEIN 18g; CHOLESTEROL 101mg; CALCIUM 353mg; SODIUM 328mg; FIBER 2.5g; IRON 0.6mg; CARBOHYDRATE 31.7g

Cooking Light, APRIL 2005

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