Just this year I fell in love with the Italian liqueur Limoncello. I noticed it online, in cookbooks such as Ina Garten’s latest, and then I found it at my favorite Italian grocery. It’s also good as an aperitif if you are in to that kind of beverage. Me, I love the flavor it imparts in recipes – just a lovely sweet lemon taste.
I also liked that the cheesecake was in pan form so you could have a square piece instead of a thick wedge. I did add a topping, instructions are in the recipe below. It looked much better as I had a few cracks and a few brown spots. The topping covered up any imperfections and added another layer of flavor.
Ina's Limoncello Ricotta Cheesecake, Adapted
For the crust:
- nonstick cooking spray
- 2 cups graham cracker crumbs (about 15 crackers)
- 2 tbsp. sugar
- 1/4 lb. unsalted butter, melted
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray a 9×13-inch baking pan with nonstick cooking spray. Then I always take a paper towel and spread it around the pan and take away any excess.
Combine the graham crackers, sugar and butter in a bowl and mix until combined. Press the mixture evenly in the pan and 1/4-inch up the sides. Bake for 8 minutes and set aside to cool.
For the filling:
- 16 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
- 1-1/4 cups sugar
- 1-1/2 cups whole milk ricotta (12 oz.) I like Calabro hand dipped ricotta
- 1/2 cup limoncello, room temperature
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 tbsp. lemon zest, grated
- 5 extra-large eggs, room temperature
Place the cream cheese and sugar in the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat on medium for about 3 minutes, or until light and fluffy. Add the ricotta and beat for another minute while scraping down the bowl. Turn the mixer to low and add the limoncello, vanilla and lemon zest; continue to beat another minute. With the mixer on medium-low, add the eggs, one at a time until combined; pour over the crust. You can also use an electric mixer.
Place the baking pan in a roasting pan large enough to hold the baking pan completely flat. Place the pan in the oven and carefully pour enough of the hottest tap water into the roasting pan to come halfway up the sides. Bake for 50 to 55 minutes, until almost set in the center. Turn off the heat and leave the cheesecake in the oven for 15 minutes to prevent the cheesecake from cracking. This did not seem to work for me and I was not happy with the small cracks.
So I made my topping that I use on my Irish Cream Cheesecake. I removed the cheesecake with the pan of water and turned the oven back on to 350°F. I spread the sour cream mixture over it and baked another 10 minutes.
Next time I will omit the step of turning the oven off; remove the cheesecake after 50 minutes of cooking; allow to cool 10 minutes; then add the topping and cook an additional 10 minutes. This will cover up any cracks or imperfections.
Topping: 1 cup sour cream plus 1/4 cup sugar; mix well and spread over cheesecake.
Prior to serving sprinkle with extra grated lemon zest, if desired. Cut into 12 pieces with a hot and dry knife and serve cold. Garnish with fresh berries.
Recipe by cookingwithauntjuju.com
I used my meat pounder (gently) to make the crust even – it works great!
The cheesecake freshly baked and with my topping of sour cream and sugar.