Ciao Italia: My Lifelong Food Adventures in Italy
Mary Ann's newest book contains over 150 recipes, 60 gorgeous food photos, and many scenic pictures of Italy taken by Mary Ann on her travels through the years.
2 cups low fat ricotta cheese, well drained
1/2 cup mascarpone
2 eggs plus 1 yolk
1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar, sifted
Finely grated zest of one large orange
1 teaspoon fior di Sicilia
1/4 teaspoon salt
AMARETTI COOKIE CRUST
30 amaretti cookies (About 7 to 8 ounces)
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 1/2 cups chilled unbleached all purpose flour
3 tablespoons sugar
8 tablespoons butter, diced
1 egg yolk, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Beat all the filling ingredients together until smooth. Refrigerate until ready to use.
In a food processor, grind the cookies with the sugar until they are the consistency of coarse bread crumbs. Add the butter and pulse two or three times to combine.
Lightly grease your tart pan. Transfer the crumbs to the tart shell and use your hands to line the tart shell with the crumbs. Be sure to press them in well.
Bake the shell for about 8-10 minutes or just until lightly browned and smelling fragrant. Cool on a rack.
Lower the oven temperature to 325°F.
Pour the filling into the shell and bake the tart for 30-35 minutes or until set. Cool completely, then refrigerate for several hours.
To serve, release the tart shell sides; place on a platter. Cut into wedges and serve as is or with some piped whipped cream or poached apricot halves.
You may also make this cheesecake with a pastry crust:
Whirl the flour, sugar and salt together in a food processor. Pulse in the butter until the mixture is coarse looking. Add the yolk and lemon juice through the feed tube and pulse just until it begins to form a ball of dough.
Gather the dough into a ball; pinch off a third, wrap, chill and reserve for top. Press the rest evenly into a 9-inch fluted tart pan with removable bottom. Chill covered for 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 375°F.
When ready to bake, poke the shell evenly with a fork to make small holes. Line the shell with a sheet of parchment paper or foil and top with baking beans or marbles. Blind bake for 15 minutes, then remove foil or parchment and allow tart shell to cool.
Spoon filling into shell.
Roll out remaining dough and cut into 1/2-inch wide lattice strips and arrange on top of filling. Trim the edges and seal with a little water.
Bake 30-35 minutes or until golden and set. Transfer to cooling rack and allow to cool completely. Remove pan sides. Cut into wedges and serve.
Do not overmix. Overmixing causes a lot of air to get into the mix. Your cheesecake will puff proudly while baking, then deflate when cooked. Too much air to start with means a flattened area or a crack at the end.
Cook gently in a slow over. Once again, we are avoiding a deflated cheesecake. Slow cooking allows that air, and some moisture from the wet ingredients to escape slowly.
Do not overcook. Overcooking lowers the cheesecake even further - it goes from deflation into shrinkage. A shrunken cheesecake is a pitiable creature, one with a sorrowful presence on the table.
Cool slowly. Cooling in the oven with the door open so no cooking continues is a good trick.
Use a springform pan or a tart pan with a removable bottom. You cannot invert cheesecake to remove it from its pan!
This recipe was originally featured on show 2118 – Fresh Ricotta.