This is the easiest cheesecake to make -- it takes just 15 minutes to assemble and doesn't require a water bath. When berries are in season, you can serve them instead of the compote.
- Yield: Makes one 9-inch cake
Source: Martha Stewart Living, April 2010
- Unsalted butter, room temperature, for pan
- 3/4 cup sugar, plus more for pan
- 1 1/2 pounds fresh whole-milk ricotta cheese, pureed in a food processor until smooth
- 6 large eggs, separated
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- Finely grated zest of 1 orange or 2 lemons
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Citrus-Vanilla Compote
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Generously butter and sugar a 9-inch springform pan (3 inches deep). Whisk together ricotta, egg yolks, flour, 6 tablespoons sugar, the zest, and salt in a large bowl.
Whisk egg whites with a mixer on low speed until foamy. Raise speed to high, and gradually add remaining 6 tablespoons sugar, whisking until stiff, glossy peaks form, 3 to 4 minutes. Gently fold a third of the whites into ricotta mixture using a rubber spatula until just combined. Gently fold in remaining whites until just combined.
Pour batter into pan, and bake until center is firm and top is deep golden brown, about 1 hour. Let cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Run a knife around edge of cake; release sides to remove from pan, and let cool completely. Serve with citrus-vanilla compote.
This cheesecake is best eaten the day it is baked, but it can be refrigerated, covered loosely with plastic wrap, for up to 3 days. Let stand at room temperature for 20 minutes before serving.