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Old-World Ricotta Cheesecake Recipe

I reconstructed this dessert based on an old recipe that had been in the family for years but was never written down. The subtle cinnamon flavor of the zwieback crust and the dense texture of the ricotta cheese are reminiscent of the cheesecake I enjoyed as a child.
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 20 min. Bake: 1 hour + chilling YIELD:12 servings

Ingredients

  • 1-2/3 cups zwieback crumbs
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup butter, softened
  • FILLING:
  • 2 cartons (15 ounces each) ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup half-and-half cream
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon peel
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • TOPPING:
  • 1 cup (8 ounces) sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions

  • 1. In a bowl, combine the zwieback crumbs, sugar and cinnamon; mix in butter until mixture is crumble. Press into the bottom and 1-1/2 in. up the sides of a greased 9-in. springform pan. Refrigerate until chilled.
  • 2. For filling, beat the ricotta cheese, cream, sugar, flour, lemon juice, lemon peel and salt in a large bowl. Blend until smooth. Add eggs, beat on low until combined. Pour into crust. Place pan on a baking sheet.
  • 3. Bake at 350° for 50 minutes or until center is set. Remove from the oven; let stand for 15 minutes (leave oven on). Combine topping ingredients; spoon around edge of cheesecake. Carefully spread over filling. Bake 10 minutes longer. Carefully run a knife around edge of pan to loosen; cool 1 hour longer. Refrigerate for 3 hours or over night. Remove sides of pan. Refrigerate leftovers. Yield: 12 servings.

Nutritional Facts

1 serving (1 slice) equals 260 calories, 14 g fat (9 g saturated fat), 83 mg cholesterol, 191 mg sodium, 25 g carbohydrate, trace fiber, 7 g protein.