Ricotta cheesecake recipes are lighter in texture and flavor than the traditional ones made with cream cheese like chocolate, pumpkin or New York Cheesecake. Most of us consider ricotta as one of the fresh Italian cheeses not realizing that it is actually not a cheese at all.
It is really a dairy food made with the leftover whey when cheese is made. This byproduct of the cheese production is not made by coagulation of the casein like cheese is but by the coagulation of the proteins which are left afterwards. Many people who are allergic to the casein in the production of cheese can eat ricotta cheesecake recipes and others without any problems with allergies.
Ricotta cheesecake recipes and other cream cheese recipes can be made successfully with this cheese. It is so mild with a slightly sweet taste making it delicious in desserts like cheesecake, cookies and cannoli recipes. With the mild taste any type of fruit can be added making great flavor. It mixes well in many types of recipes like cakes making them richer in flavor and very moist. It resembles a smooth cottage cheese and can be made from cow’s or goat’s milk.
Ricotta cheesecake recipes can be made by making your own at home. You can make ricotta from all types of cheese making except the soft French style goat cheese, soft molded goat cheese and Neufchatel. Those are made with drops of rennet not sufficient for ricotta. The whey must be fresh so plan to make it on the day when you make another cheese. Someone sent me these recipes many years ago so I am passing them on to you; they look easy but I have never tried them. Good luck!
RICOTTA made with whey
Place whey and fresh milk in stainless steel pot. Heat to 195F degrees, remove from heat and add lemon juice.
Stir for several minutes watching as juice produces tiny curds in the liquid.
Pour hot whey and curds into cheesecloth lined colander and allow to drain and cool for 25 minutes.
Remove curd from cheesecloth and break into tiny pieces in a bowl.
Add salt to taste and add a little cream for a richer taste; can keep in refrigerator for about 5 days.
RICOTTA made without whey
Bring the fresh milk to 185F degrees.
Remove from heat and add vinegar while stirring constantly; curds will form very quickly.
Pour into cheesecloth lined colander; drain for 20 minutes.
Mix in salt; keeps for about 5 days.
APRICOT CHEESECAKE RECIPE
This is one of the delicious light creamy ricotta cheesecake recipes. Blending the taste of apricots makes the flavor great. You will find Italian and German cheesecake recipes similar to this one. For a thicker cheesecake use and 8 inch spring form pan instead of the ten inches.
Place 2/3 cup flour on workspace; sprinkle sugar over it.
Make a well in center; drop in egg and butter.
Knead into a soft dough ball; press over bottom a 10 inch spring form pan.
Bake in preheated oven at 400F degrees for 10 minutes; set aside to cool.
Separate egg; beat white with powdered sugar until stiff and stir in egg yolk.
Sift flour and cornstarch over egg/sugar mixture and mix gently.
Spread mixture over baked layer and bake in oven (400F) 10 minutes; set aside to cool and remove sides.
Drain apricots (from layer 4) reserving the juice and set aside.
Combine in large bowl ricotta, lemon juice and sugar; blend well.
In top of double boiler sprinkle gelatin over 2 tablespoons water; stir over hot water until gelatin is dissolved.
Cool slightly and stir into ricotta mixture; beat whipping cream with powdered sugar until stiff.
Fold whipped cream into ricotta mixture; place cake on platter and place pan sides around the cake.
Spread ricotta mixture evenly over cake; remove sides of pan.
Place drained apricot halves on top of cake and refrigerate 1 hour.
Measure reserved juice and add enough water to make ¾ cup liquid.
Add sugar and bring mixture to a boil.
Make a paste with cornstarch and 2 tablespoons water; pour and stir into boiling juice mixture.
Stir constantly until mixture has thickened; boil 1 minute and remove from heat.
Spoon mixture over the apricot halves making sure all fruit is glazed.
Refrigerate another hour before serving.
RICOTTA CHOCOLATE CHIP PIE RECIPE
This is one of the ricotta cheesecake recipes made in a pie shell; a chocolate chip pie recipe made special with whipped cream topping.
Beat ricotta until smooth in mixing bowl; beat in 1 cup sugar, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and vanilla.
Stir in chocolate chips and citron; cover and refrigerate 1 hour then scoop into baked pie shell.
Whip cream until soft peaks; beat in remaining sugar and rum and swirl over pie.
SOUTHERN ITALIAN CHEESECAKE
Ricotta cheesecake recipes vary from region to region of Italy. This one is unique from Southern Italy with the addition of many fruits, nuts and flavorings such as chocolate and rum.
Heat ¼ cup sugar and water over high heat; when sugar dissolves add pine nuts.
Continue cooking swirling pan often until sugar turns a light brown.
Turn pine nut mixture out on oiled baking sheet and let cool; break into small chunks.
Combine raisins and rum in a small bowl and set aside for 1 hour.
Stir together flour, baking powder, brown sugar and almonds. Cut in butter with pastry cutter until crumbly.
Gather in ball (DO NOT KNEAD OR WORK DOUGH) and lightly wrap in plastic and refrigerate 1 hour.
Combine ricotta. Remaining sugar, lemon rind, raisins and rum in a large bowl.
Add chocolate pieces and pine nut brittle pieces; mix well. Preheat oven to 350F degrees; line bottom and sides of 10 inch spring form pan with foil.
Place a little more than half of dough on bottom of pan patting in place and pushing partway up sides.
Spoon in ricotta filling; roll out remaining dough to 10 inches and lay over top of filling.
Bake for 50 to 55 minutes until top browns slightly. Cool cake in pan; remove sides and gently peel back foil from sides.
Lift bottom of ricotta cheesecake recipe with spatula and pull out the foil. Serve slightly warm or at room temperature.