Gourmet Club dinner: GREEK. Four couples, each once yearly hosts a “theme” meal at their home. Marlene and John will be cruising the Greek Isles next month and, happily, this theme choice produced one of our absolute best group collaborations. Laura snagged the coveted DESSERT course. Laura makes perfect flan, and so a “water bath” dessert clearly causes her no anxiety. Few things in life actually cause Laura anxiety, she is levelheaded AND an excellent cook. This, her Lemon Ricotta Cheesecake was spot-on: beautiful, scrumptious, the flavor was spectacular and the texture soft and creamy.
Lemon Ricotta Cheesecake
- 3 lbs ricotta cheese
- 1 tablespoon softened unsalted butter for the pan
- 1 teaspoon sugar for the pan, plus 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 6 large eggs
- 1 cup Greek Yogurt
- 2 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 teaspoon grated lemon zest
- juice from the fresh lemon
- 1 pint whipping cream
- 1 cup crushed pineapple
- Fresh berries for garnish
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 10 inch springform pan, coat with 1 tsp sugar. Beat ricotta at slow speed until smooth. Add eggs one at a time, then blend in remaining sugar. Blend in yogurt, lemon juice, lemon zest and vanilla. Pour mixture in pan and smooth out top.
To prepare the pan for “water bath” baking, create a waterproof seal on the bottom by wrapping bottom and sides of pan in heavy-duty WIDE aluminum foil. Place cheesecake pan in another larger pan filled with water within an inch of the top.
Cover loosely with foil and bake 30 minutes. Remove foil, continue baking until top is golden and center jiggles, total baking time about 90 minutes.
Remove cake from oven but keep in the water bath; cool to room temperature. Remove pan from water, remove foil from pan and cool on a rack. Cool, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
To serve with topping: whip cream until stiff, fold in crushed pineapple, spread on top of cheesecake. Garnish with fresh berries. Serves 8 to 10.