A homemade lemon ricotta cheesecake is a dessert you make when you're trying to kiss someone's ass or show someone up. It's perfect when you're going to a dinner party, but there's that one person there that gets on your last nerve because they're always one-upping everyone, and you want to put them in their place. It is a fresh, light, creamy, slice of heaven that steals the show.
Feeds: 8-12 people
Prep-Time: Approximately 30-minutes
Cooking Time: 1-hour & 15-minutes
Cooling Time: At least 4-hours
2 1kg containers of whole milk fresh ricotta (don't use low-fat, you need to live a little)
1 tbsp butter, softened
¼ cup smashed graham crackers
1 tsp plus 1½ cups sugar
1 cup mascarpone cheese
2 tsp vanilla extract
3 tsp grated lemon zest
Lemon juice from half a lemon
Preheat the oven to 350ºF.
Strain ricotta over a bowl in the refrigerator for 1-hour.
Use three layers of aluminum foil to cover the bottom and sides of a springform pan that is approximately 3×10-inchs.
Mix the graham crackers with the 1 tsp of sugar and coat the pan.
Fill a teapot with water and bring to a boil.
Beat the mascarpone with an electric mixer until light, and put it in a separate bowl.
At a low speed, beat the ricotta and lemon zest with the electric mixer until smooth.
Add eggs one at a time to ricotta and lemon zest mixture, and beat until smooth.
Add the 1½ cups of sugar and beat until smooth.
Add the mascarpone, lemon juice and vanilla, and beat until smooth.
Pour mixture into springform pan and level out.
Place the springform pan inside a roasting pan that must have shorter sides than the springform pan.
Place pans on pulled-out oven rack, then pour the boiling water into the roasting pan until it is within 1-inch from the top of the springform pan.
Bake for 1-hour and 15-minutes but start checking the cake around 1-hour. Baking time is affected by variables such as types of pans, ovens, etc.
To test that the cake is done, gently press the top with your finger and it should spring back a bit. Also gently shake the pan and if the cake ripples too much, it needs more baking time. The top should be slightly golden.
Once the cake is done baking, remove it from the oven and let it cool to room temperature, still staying in the water bath.
Once the cake is cool, to firm it up it must be refrigerated for at least 4 hours before serving.
To take the cake out of the springform pan, separate the cake edges from the pan with a thin knife and then release the sides.