Ricotta Cheesecake

Ricotta Cheesecake
Recipe from Cook's Illustrated, December 2006

Notes: For Mother's Day, we had my parents over for dinner (slow-roasted lamb, asparagus, Greek-style lemon potatoes). Instead of my go-to cheesecake, a recipe of my Mom's, I tried out this lower-fat cheesecake.

I like the crust idea: using amaretti crumbs. But depending on the brand, the sugar level might be a bit on the sweet side. The ricotta I bought was already in a paper bag, so I just placed the cheese in a strainer. Not a lot of liquid drained out, so I placed some weights (canned tomatoes) on top of a plate to help press the water out. Most of the work for this cheesecake is done in the food processor, but you do need a mixer to beat the whites.

The verdict? A good alternative to the standard, dense, New York-style cheesecake. The texture of this one is more crumbly, and the flavour less sweet. The combination of rum, vanilla and lemon zest makes for a complex flavour. Oh, and slicing this was a snap. Since it's not as creamy, I didn't even need to wipe the knife between slices.

I used to get the occasional slice of cheesecake at Karpaty in Mississauga, a Polish bakery and deli. I remember it being dryer and crumblier than other cheesecakes. From a brief Internet search, it seems many Polish cheesecakes use curds, farmer's cheese or ricotta. Definitely an area to explore.

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