ORANGE HONEY RICOTTA CHEESECAKE
The flavors of honey and oranges combine to make a great dessert. If you can find orange honey, by all means use that for the honey in the recipe.
Serves 10 to 12
• 1-1/4 cups (300 m) graham cracker crumbs
• 1 tablespoon (15 mL) unsalted butter, melted
• 2 teaspoons (10 mL) liquid honey
• 1 pound (500 g) ricotta cheese, drained (see tip, below)
• 4 ounces (125 mL) cream cheese, softened
• 1/2 cup (125 mL) liquid honey
• 2 eggs
• 1/2 cup (125 mL) plain yogurt
• 1 tablespoon (15 mL) frozen orange juice concentrate, thawed
• 2 teaspoons (10 m) grated orange zest
• 1 teaspoon (5 mL) cornstarch
• 1/4 teaspoon (1 mL) salt
• 3 egg whites
• 2 oranges
• 2 tablespoons (25 mL) liquid honey
Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C) and prepare a 9-inch (23 cm) cheesecake pan, ungreased, or springform pan with 3-inch (7.5 cm) sides, greased.
In a bowl, combine graham cracker crumbs, butter and honey. Press into bottom of cheesecake pan and freeze.
In a mixer bowl fitted with paddle attachment, beat ricotta cheese, cream cheese and honey on medium-high speed until very smooth, for 3 minutes. Add whole eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition. Stir in yogurt, orange juice concentrate, orange zest, cornstarch and salt. Set aside.
In a clean mixer bowl fitted with whip attachment, whip egg whites on medium-high speed until stiff but not dry peaks form. Fold into cream cheese mixture carefully so as not to deflate the mixture.
Pour over frozen crust, smoothing out to sides of pan. Bake in preheated oven until top is light brown and center has a slight jiggle to it, 50 to 60 minutes. Let cool in pan on a wire rack for 2 hours. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 6 hours before decorating or serving.
Remove white pith and peel from oranges and cut into very thin slices. Arrange slices on top of cake. In a small saucepan over low heat, heat honey. Using a pastry brush, brush hot honey over orange slices. Chill before serving.
To drain ricotta, place a fine-mesh strainer over a bowl, place the cheese in the strainer and let stand in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour or overnight. Room temperature egg whites yield a much higher volume than cold whites. Save extra egg yolks in a small bowl in the refrigerator for up to 2 days by covering them with water and sealing tightly with plastic wrap. To freeze, sprinkle salt or sugar over the yolks in water.
Recipe from THE CHEESECAKE BIBLE by George Geary
(Robert Rose, Inc.; October 2008; $24.95/trade paperback)