Cook1 hr 10 mins
This is the recipe I have used for years to make "Italian" cheese cake. It is a wonderful, basic cheese cake which easily lends itself to "variations".
- 3 lbs whole milk ricotta cheese, drained
- 2 cups sugar
- 8 egg yolks
- 1⁄2 cup all-purpose flour, sifted
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 8 egg whites
- 1⁄2 cup heavy cream, whipped
- 1⁄2-1 tablespoon grated fresh lemon rind
- graham cracker crumbs
- confectioners' sugar, for lightly sprinkling over top of cooled cake (optional)
- Preheat oven to 425°F.
- Butter bottom and sides of a 12-inch springform pan.
- Sprinkle bottom and sides of well buttered pan with Graham cracker crumbs.
- In a large bowl, beat drained ricotta until very smooth.
- Gradually add 1 1/2 cups sugar and egg yolks, beating after each addition.
- Beat in flour, lemon rind, and vanilla.
- In a small bowl, beat cream until cream holds its shape, but is not too stiff.
- In a smaller bowl, beat egg whites with remaining sugar until stiff; combine with whipped cream and fold into ricotta mixture.
- Pour mixture into prepared pan.
- Bake for 10 minutes.
- Lower oven temperature to 350°F and bake 1 hour.
- Turn off heat and allow cake to cool in oven with door closed (about 3-4 hours).
- Remove cooled cake from oven, carefully remove sides of pan, store cake (well wrapped) in refrigerator.
- Before serving, lightly sprinkle top of cake with Confectioner's (powdered, 10X) sugar.
- Cake may be served chilled or at room temperature.
- Note: Center of cheese cake will be lower than the sides when it is cooled.
- This is not a defect!
- It is supposed to be this way (makes it easier to hold the topping if you choose to use one).
- VARIATIONS: Add raisins, chopped citron or chopped maraschino cherries to the batter.
- Top cheese cake with crushed sugared strawberries or cherries before serving.
- Cover bottom of crumbed pan with drained, sweetened crushed pineapple, applesauce or sliced apples before adding batter to pan.
- Pie crust pastry may be used instead of Graham crumbs to line pan.