"Recipe courtesy - Giada De Laurentiis - Everday Italian. This caught my eye mainly for the limoncello liqueur recipe. The cheesecake is a bonus round ;-) The limoncello takes at least 4 days to create so plan ahead!"
nonstick cooking spray
unsalted butter, melted
grated lemon zest
1 (12 ounce) containers
fresh whole milk ricotta cheese, drained, at room temperature
2 (8 ounce) packages
cream cheese, at room temperature
1 1/4 cups
( see recipe below)
eggs, at room temperature
Limoncello Liqueur (Use 1/2 cup Yields about 8 cups)
1 (750 ml) bottles
3 1/2 cups
2 1/2 cups
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray the bottom of a 9 by 9 by 2-inch baking pan with nonstick cooking spray.
Finely grind the biscotti in a food processor. Add the melted butter and 1 tablespoon of lemon zest, and process until the crumbs are moistened. Press the crumb mixture over the bottom (not the sides) of the prepared pan. Bake until the crust is golden, about 15 minutes. Cool the crust completely on a cooling rack.
Blend the ricotta until smooth. Add the cream cheese and sugar and blend well, often scraping down the sides of bowl. Blend in the limoncello, vanilla, and remaining 2 tablespoons of lemon zest. Add the eggs one at a time, and pulse just until blended. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.
Pour the cheese mixture over the crust in the pan. Place the baking pan in a large roasting pan. Pour enough hot water into the roasting pan to come halfway up the sides of the baking pan. Bake until the cheesecake is golden and the center of the cake moves slightly when the pan is gently shaken, about 1 hour (the cake will become firm when it is cold).
Transfer the cake to a rack; cool 1 hour. Refrigerate until the cheesecake is cold, at least 8 hours and up to 2 days. Cut the cake into squares and serve.
Using a vegetable peeler, remove the peel from the lemons in long strips (reserve the lemons for another use). Using a small sharp knife, trim away the white pith from the lemon peels; discard the pith. Place the lemon peels in a 2-quart pitcher. Pour the vodka over the peels and cover with plastic wrap. Steep the lemon peels in the vodka for 4 days at room temperature.
Stir the water and sugar in a large saucepan over medium heat until the sugar dissolves, about 5 minutes. Cool completely. Pour the sugar syrup over the vodka mixture. Cover and let stand at room temperature overnight. Strain the limoncello through a mesh strainer. Discard the peels. Transfer the limoncello to bottles. Seal the bottles and refrigerate until cold, at least 4 hours and up to 1 month.
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Limoncello Liqueur Plus Cheesecake Squares (cont.)