If executed with a reasonable amount of precision and expertise, attributes which often elude me, cheesecake is, perhaps, the best type of dessert. In all honesty, can anyone think of an attribute sought after in a dessert that goes wanting in a cheesecake? In general, they are smooth, simple, tasty, decadent, and as Greg Wallace, best known for his Master Chef induced dessert fetish, will tell you; they do have the highly sought after ‘buttery biscuit base’. As you may have noticed I appear to have developed something of a cheesecake fetish myself and ought really to stop prefixing every cheesecake recipe with fragranced drivel regarding their excellence. Please, I invite you all to violently rebuke me if this trend continues.
When writing a new blog post, there is nothing quite like the inspiration for authorship delivered to one by the food about which one is writing. So, as I sit here masticating upon the penultimate slice of lemon ricotta cheesecake, I am reminded of a rather innocuous thought which came to me yesterday. As you shall soon discover, this entire cheesecake employs the services of one rather lonely lemon. The flavour imparted by this single, small, yellow citrus fruit is more than enough to give the dessert a rather pleasing taste. Why then, do so many recipes appear to make use of as many as four whole lemons? This seems absurd and rather over-the-top. Of course, I don’t wish to insult the entire population of lemon cheesecake enthusiasts, but surely it is better to use as little lemon as is sensible, since it would be best to avoid the bitter harshness of pure lemon juice? Wonders will never cease.
Lemon Ricotta Cheesecake
Makes one 9 inch cheesecake
• 200g crushed digestive biscuits
• 6 tbsp melted butter
• 60g granulated or caster sugar
• 500g ricotta cheese
• 300g cream cheese
• 3 eggs
• 1 lemon, zest and juice
• 150g gold caster sugar
1. Preheat oven to 180C. Mix the biscuits with the melted butter and sugar and press into the bottom of a greased 9 inch springform pan.
2. Best together the cream cheese, ricotta cheese, lemon juice, lemon zest before mixing in the sugar. Incorporate the eggs, one at a time until you are left with a uniform mixture. Pour this on top on the biscuit base.
3. Wrap the bottom of the springform pan tightly foil and bake in a bain-marie for around an hour. The cheesecake is ready when its centre wobbles a little when shaken – it should not have cracked at all on top. Remove from the oven and leave to cool, remove it from the springform pan when cool. It is best after having been returned to the fridge.
Cost: This cheesecake could be done a little more cheaply if one substitutes the ricotta cheese for extra cream cheese. However, I believe this is a necessary expense as it gives the dessert a wonderful smoothness. As such, the entire cheesecake will set one back around £3.80. As usual, this cost me a little less as my chickens provide me with eggs.