Light in texture, traditional Italian cheesecakes are made with ricotta cheese. Here, citrus adds depth to the ricotta; the compote of orange, grapefruit, and vanilla plays off the cake's mellow flavor.
- Servings: 10
Source: Martha Stewart Living, May 2004
- 2 cups finely ground ladyfinger cookies (7 ounces)
- 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1 envelope (1/4 ounce) unflavored gelatin
- 1 cup heavy cream, chilled
- 2 large eggs, separated, room temperature
- 1/2 vanilla bean, halved lengthwise
- 1 pound 5 ounces fresh ricotta cheese
- 1 tablespoon freshly grated orange zest
- 1 tablespoon freshly grated lemon zest plus 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- Pinch of salt
- Citrus-Vanilla Compote
Stir together cookie crumbs, melted butter, and 1/4 cup sugar in a medium bowl. Press crumb mixture firmly onto bottom and up 1 inch on sides of an 8-inch square or 9-inch round springform pan; set aside.
Sprinkle gelatin over 1/4 cup warm water in a small bowl. Let stand 7 minutes to soften. Stir until gelatin is dissolved; set aside. Beat cream with an electric mixer until stiff peaks form; set aside.
Put egg yolks and remaining 1/2 cup sugar in a medium bowl. Scrape in vanilla seeds; whisk until mixture is pale and thick, about 2 minutes. Add ricotta, zests, lemon juice, salt, and gelatin mixture; gently stir until smooth. Set aside.
Beat egg whites in a clean mixing bowl until they hold stiff peaks. Gently fold whipped cream and then whites with a rubber spatula into ricotta mixture.
Pour filling over crust. Refrigerate, uncovered, 3 hours or overnight. Before unmolding, run a knife around edge of cake. Serve with citrus-vanilla compote.