I have had this recipe since 1972 when we lived in Schenectady, NY and I was a stay at home mom....bunch of gals used to get together 1-2X a month and just talk! One hostess served this cheesecake, and I have never used another recipe for cheesecake since! LUV it! Sadly, it is one of those "dishes" that after sitting in frig. 3-5 days is even better, so that last slice is really good! : ) But you could easily prepare this 3-4 days in advance. This cake has no crust. I like my cheesecake "au naturel", but you could make a topping (or use canned pie filling) of your choice. I put the ricotta cheese in food processor to make sure it's smooth...but you can use a potato masher. I also refuse, when making a yummy recipe, to use low fat or non-fat products.