Sandi over at Whistlestop Cafe Cooking chose this week's recipe for Sunday Slow Bakers. I'm not usually a huge cheesecake fan. I like it well enough when it's good, but often I find it overly sweet and way too rich. When it's served after dinner, I can only eat a couple bites and then I'm done. I've never had ricotta cheesecake though, so I wondered if it it was different. Luckily Sandi picked this recipe. This is one of those times when I'm really glad to be part of the Sunday Slow Bakers. I'm trying things that I never would have tried on my own.
The recipe called for fresh ricotta cheese (4 cups - a lot!) but I used the packaged ricotta that Trader Joe's sells. I learned later from Amy that fresh ricotta is sweeter and thicker, which made me wonder how my cheesecake would come out. My worry was that it would not firm up enough. When I took it out of the oven it was quite jiggly. In her recipe Gina says that it should be a bit jiggly but not liquid. I cooled it, chilled it overnight in the refrigerator and hoped for the best.
This afternoon my neighbors came over bringing along a visiting relative. So I served them the cheesecake after a big warning that I wasn't sure how it had turned out. When I took the sides off from the springform pan it had almost cracked in two, but I managed to carefully get it off leaving the cheesecake in one piece. I didn't dare take the cheesecake off the base of the springform pan, because I knew that would send it over the edge or into a messy pile. So I left it on the bottom and set it on a pedestal. I carefully cut it into slices and served it with some fresh strawberries.
It was very light and extremely tasty. It was not very sweet and definitely not too rich. I could get used to this kind of cheesecake. The almond crumb crust was thin and only added a subtle flavor. I used lemon zest instead of the candied citrus fruit, so mine had a very slight lemony flavor. With the strawberries it was really delicious. I think it might not be enough of a traditional cheesecake for some people. I would think carefully about serving it as a dessert for a dinner party. But it was definitely my kind of cheesecake. I ate an entire slice and actually started planning when I might have another. I think that would be right about now.