I love rich, dense cheesecakes as much as the next person, but after devouring an entire large chocolate covered coconut cream egg myself (my once a year entitlement) I thought I'd lighten up things when preparing something for a committee meeting at my house recently. Well, ok, it's not exactly angel food cake, but I did use ricotta rather than heavier cream cheese that's so typical in cheesecakes.
Truth is, I wouldn't have even thought of cheesecake had it not been for the large jar of orange conserve I was sent recently. I was trying to conjure up some way of showcasing the high-end (read expensive), imported Italian conserve. But after sampling just one spoonful of the product and its bitter orange flavor, I knew I couldn't use it for this cheesecake. In order to save the day, I rushed to the supermarket to buy a sweet orange marmalade instead, and it made all the difference.
The marmalade serves not only as the topping, but is swirled into the mixture, adding more flavor inside. The recipe comes together in a jif, and you don't even need a mixer. A bowl and wooden spoon will do.
It would be a good idea to drain the ricotta first, since the crust might get soggy if the cheesecake sits around more than one day.
Then again, I think the chances of having any left after the first day are slim.
Totally apropos of nothing to do with this cheesecake (well, it is tangential to this blog actually and I’m not above asking readers for help), I wondered if any of you has used Windows Live Writer (WLW) and later switched from a pc to a MAC. WLW is a great platform for writing the blog, plus it allows for these large photos without running into the sidebars. But WLW doesn’t run on MAC and now I find myself using WLW on my old computer for blogging – at least until the six-year-old pc doesn’t konk out on me. Any help would be much appreciated on how to migrate Windows Live Writer to a MAC so I don’t have to flip-flop between the old and new computers. You can contact me at email@example.com if you have any brainstorms. grazie.
Orange Ricotta Cheesecake
For graham cracker crust:
- 1 3/4 cup graham crackers (about 15 whole)
- 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
- 1 T. flour
- pinch of salt
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
- 2 T. water, or more if needed
In a food processor, blend the graham crackers, brown sugar, flour and salt until fine crumbs. Add melted butter and water and mix until evenly moistened.
Grease an 8 inch springform pan and cover the bottom and sides with aluminum foil. Bake the crust in 350 degree oven for 20 minutes, then let it cool completely.
For the cheesecake:
- 2 pounds ricotta cheese (drained overnight preferably)
- 3/4 cup sweet orange marmalade
- 6 eggs
- 1 tsp. almond extract
- 1/2 cup flour
- 1/3 cup sugar
- pinch of salt
- more orange marmalade for topping (about 1/3 to 3/4 cup
- Combine the 3/4 marmalade, ricotta cheese, and eggs, one at a time, in a large mixing bowl. Stir in remaining ingredients (except the marmalade for the topping.)
- Pour the mixture into the prepared pan and place the pan in a hot water bath in the oven, which has been preheated to 300 degrees. Bake for 90 minutes to two hours or until the cake is not liquidy when you jiggle it. Remove from the oven and let it cool to room temperature. Warm the marmalade slightly to make it easier to spread, either in the microwave or the stove. Spread over the top and refrigerate for a few hours, or overnight before serving.