SICILIAN RICOTTA CHEESECAKE WITH BLOOD ORANGE SAUCE
Creamy and delicate, you’ll become addicted to this Sicilian cheesecake and its sweet syrup.
Preparation time 30 mins plus 1 hour chilling Cooking time 40 mins Serves 12
125g unsalted butter, softened
400g caster sugar
4 free-range eggs
1/2 cup pure cream
2 cups plain flour
1 tsp baking powder 250g block cream cheese, softened
2 tsp vanilla paste
Finely grated zest of 2 lemons
700g full-cream fresh ricotta
2 cups blood orange juice
Sifted icing sugar and double
cream, to serve
STEP 1 Preheat oven to 180°C fan-forced (200°C conventional) and grease a 22cm cake tin. Put a pizza stone on the centre shelf of the oven.
STEP 2 Combine softened butter and 100g caster sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat on medium speed for 5 minutes until light and fluffy. Beat in one egg, then half the cream, until mixture is smooth.
STEP 3 Sift flour and baking powder together onto a piece of baking paper, then fold lightly into creamed mixture until smooth. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and chill for 1 hour. Divide into 3 equal pieces. Roll one out to a round large enough to line base of cake tin. Ease into tin. Roll a second piece to a 7 x 70cm wide strip and press onto the sides of the cake tin
(if preferred, cut this into smaller pieces and press them together when lining tin). Chill until firm.
STEP 4 Put cream cheese, another 100g caster sugar, vanilla paste and lemon zest in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat on medium speed for 3 minutes, until light. Add remaining eggs and ricotta, then beat on medium for a further 5 minutes until smooth and well combined. Fold in remaining cream.
STEP 5 Spoon mixture into pastry shell. Roll out remaining piece of pastry to a disc and lay over the top, pinching the edges together to seal. Bake on hot pizza stone for 35-40 minutes, until pastry is deep golden. Cool completely.
STEP 6 Put remaining caster sugar in a medium saucepan over high heat. Cook until pale caramel forms, swirling pan occasionally. Carefully pour in the blood orange juice. Reduce heat to low, then simmer mixture, without stirring, for several minutes until thick and syrupy.
STEP 7 When ready to serve, sprinkle cheesecake generously with icing sugar. Serve in wedges drizzled with blood orange syrup and accompanied with double cream.