• Baked ricotta cheesecake (Rochelle Eagle)

The burnt Basque cheesecake may have a cult following around the world, but this humble Balearic version sticks to the original ingredient – ricotta – instead of the modern supermarket cream cheese.

Serves
6

Preparation

15min

Cooking

40min

Skill level

Easy
By
Average: 3.1 (14 votes)
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Mixing the cream and ricotta together essentially creates a homemade version of cream cheese, except without any gelatin or other thickening agents. The locals also don’t burn their version – well not on purpose anyway!

Historically an Easter dessert, this ricotta cheesecake is now eaten all year round throughout Spain as the household’s go-to quick weeknight dessert if the kids deserve a treat. I sometimes make smaller portions of this in ramekins, or even miniature ones are great, too. It’s also freezer-friendly if you need a bribery tool for unruly children!

Ingredients

  • 20 g (¾ oz) unsalted butter, softened
  • 500 g (1 lb 2 oz) full-cream (whole milk) firm ricotta
  • 125 ml (4 fl oz/ ½ cup) thick (double/heavy) cream
  • 6 large free-range eggs, beaten
  • 250 g (9 oz) caster (superfine) sugar
  • zest of ¼ lemon, plus extra to serve

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.

Instructions

1. Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F) fan-forced. 

2. Grease a 25 cm (10 in) round earthenware or ovenproof dish with the butter.

3. Using a fork, mix the ricotta and cream in a large bowl until smooth. Slowly pour in the beaten egg and whisk until well combined and you can’t see any lumps. Add the sugar and lemon zest and whisk until smooth.

4. Spoon the mixture into the prepared dish and bake for 35–40 minutes, until golden and a skewer inserted into the centre of the cheesecake comes out clean. Alternatively, if you want to serve it Basque-style, cook for 50–60 minutes, until the top is dark brown and almost burnt at the edge.

5. Sprinkle over a little extra lemon zest and serve with some fresh fruit on a hot day. Perfect!

 

Recipe from Isla by Emma Warren (Smith Street Books, RRP $49.00), photography by Rochelle Eagle.