Italian Cheese Cake
I’ve always preferred the light ethereal Italian cheesecake to the sometimes unctuous New York cheesecake. The latter uses cream cheese only, but the Italian version includes sour cream for tang and ricotta for lightness. The citrus zest is a must.
This recipe appeared in The Daily News in 1979. It was featured in a little northern Italian restaurant in Greenwich Village called New Port Alba. It’s both rich and delicate. I serve it with fresh raspberry coulis, the perfect accompaniment.
1 lb. whole milk ricotta cheese
1 lb. sour cream
1 lb. cream cheese (or mascarpone)
1 ½ cups granulated sugar
1 stick sweet butter, melted
Pinch of salt
3 large eggs
3 T flour
3 T cornstarch
1 T freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 ½ T pure vanilla extract
¼ t fiori di sicilia
Finely grated zest from one orange and one lemon
Have all filling ingredients at room temperature. Grease and flour the bottom and sides of a 9 X 3-inch springform pan.
In a large mixing bowl beat together ricotta, sour cream and cream cheese until well mixed. Beat in sugar and then melted butter and pinch of salt. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add flour, cornstarch, lemon juice, vanilla, fiori di sicilia and zest, beating until completely mixed.
Transfer to prepared pan and bake in a preheated 300 degree oven for one hour. Turn off heat and let cake stay in oven, door closed, for another hour. Remove and let cake cool completely in pan, set on a wire rack. Cover and refrigerate. Remove sides of pan before serving and serve slightly chilled.
In a small saucepan, mash and heat ½ pint of fresh raspberries with 6 oz. raspberry preserves and 1 T Grand Marnier, stirring until syrupy. Strain syrup and mix with ½ pint fresh raspberries. Serve with cheesecake.