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Italian Cheesecake

This is my Mothers recipe for Ricotta cheesecake, I stuck to the recipe for the most part but I can’t help but add my own touches, I added some mascarpone and though a minor change I feel it made for a creamier texture. The minute I tasted it it took me back to  the kitchen of my childhood.  The cake is flavored with lemon, rum and vanilla and it has a short crust, The original recipe calls for a 8 inch pan with 3 inch sides, I used a springform pan and only had a 9 inch. I didn’t have quite enough dough to cover the top of the cake as instructed in the recipe so I doubled the recipe so there would be enough. As you can see from my cake I didn’t have quite enough of the dough so it didn’t look like the one my Mother made but the taste was exactly as I remember it.

Short Pastry

3 cup flour
1/2 cup shortening or butter
1/2 tsp salt
2 eggs beaten
1/2 cup sugar
6 tbs ice cold water, add 4 to start and see if you need more
Mix flour, salt and sugar until combined, cut in shortening or butter. Add egg and enough water so that dough forms a ball. Add water 4  tbs to start and more if needed.  I made it in the food processor, add flour, sugar, salt and butter and pulse until it resembles crumbs.Beat egg with 4 tbs water and with motor running add through feeding tube, pulse until dough forms a ball. Add more water if you notice the dough is dry. Wrap dough in plastic and refrigerate for 30-60 minutes. NOTE: I had to double the recipe because I used a 9 inch pan you will have some leftover dough.
 2  lbs ricotta (4 cups)
1 cup mascarpone
6 large eggs at room temperature
1 1/4 cup sugar
zest of one lemon
2 tbs lemon juice
2 tbs rum or marsala
3 tsp vanilla extract
 Strain Ricotta in a sieve lined with cheese cloth until the water has drained. Beat ricotta mascarpone and sugar until fluffy and smooth, add the eggs one at a time beating until each egg is combined. Add the lemon juice,zest, rum, and vanilla and stir to combine.
Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees.
You will need a 9 inch springform pan, roll the dough as thin as possible and make sure it is at least double the size of your pan you will need to cover the top of the cheesecake almost all the way only leaving a quarter size hole in the center. Add filling and cover with the overhanging dough. Bake for 2 or 2 1/2 hours, believe me it takes that long my cake took a full 2 hours, it’s almost souffle like and you want the filling to be set completely before removing from the oven. The crust will be golden brown and as it bakes the filling rises almost causing a dome, it’s supposed to do that, it goes down when removed from the oven. Let cool completely in the pan. You do not have to refrigerate overnight like a regular cheesecake.  Serve when cooled, and if not serving after cake has cooled cover and refrigerate.
Not quite enough crust but still delicious
12 Comments Post a comment
  1. Carla #

    Do you have to make the crust? Can I line the Pan with graham cracker crumbs? The cheesecake itself seems simple enough for me 🙂

    March 1, 2012
    • Yes you can use a graham cracker crust, make enough crumbs to go up the side of the pan, next time i make it i am going to do the same. I think it would be good.

      March 1, 2012
  2. A beautiful cheesecake! Never used mascarpone with cheesecake, yum 😉

    March 2, 2012
    • I liked the creaminess that mascarpone brought, love italian cheesecake but found with just ricotta it was a bit dry. Thanks so much!

      March 2, 2012
  3. I love the mascarpone in here!! I’m about to start another batch 🙂 I love this series with your stories.

    March 2, 2012
    • I am going to make a batch from your recipe, will let you know how it turns out. Thanks for a great recipe so excited to try it.

      March 2, 2012
  4. Bevi #

    Sam just saw this photo and informed me that I am making it.

    March 3, 2012
  5. Thats so funny, I guess you are making a ricotta cheesecake, let me know how it turns out. Thank you and thank Sam!

    March 3, 2012
  6. I love ricotta cheesecakes! My mom used to make one, too. She didn’t make it with a crust, though, so I look forward to trying yours with pastry.

    March 5, 2012
    • Thank you, my friend made it last night but with a graham cracker crust she said it turned out great. With an Italian cheesecake I really like the pastry crust, Thanks again

      March 5, 2012
      • Carla #

        My parents came over for a bite of my homemade italian cheesecake and they were impressed. My Mom commented that it tasted almost bakery bought – I’m guessing she means “Brooklyn Bakery”. Since I had two cheesecakes they took one home! It’s a great recipe – very authentic and traditional tasting.

        March 5, 2012
      • I’m so happy the parents enjoyed, thank you so much! So glad it turned out for you,

        March 5, 2012

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