This Sicilian cheesecake has a wonderful smooth texture from the ricotta and cream. Enhanced with just a little lemon zest and essence in the recipe it is a cheesecake for purists.






Skill level

Average: 3.1 (126 votes)


  • 225 g (1½ cups) plain flour
  • 100 g unsalted butter, chopped, at room temperature
  • 60 g (¼ cup) sour cream
  • icing sugar, to serve (optional)


  • 675 g ricotta
  • 75 g (½ cup) cornflour
  • 275 g (1¼ cups) caster sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 350 ml pouring cream
  • 2 lemons, zested
  • 1 tsp lemon essence

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.


Chilling time 1 hour

Drink 2010 Cantine Vietti La Cascinetta Moscato d’Asti DOCG, Italy (375 ml, $23)

To make the pastry, process flour, butter and ¼ tsp salt in a food processor until mixture resembles crumbs. Add sour cream and 60 ml iced water and process until mixture just comes together. Shape into a disc, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour. Remove 15 minutes before using.

Preheat oven to 180°C. Place a small ovenproof dish of water in the base of the oven (this will help prevent the cheesecake from cracking).

To make the filling, press ricotta through a metal sieve to break up the lumps. Using a wooden spoon, combine ricotta with cornflour and sugar in a large bowl until just combined; do not over mix. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well between each addition until smooth. Stir in cream, lemon zest and essence until combined.

Roll dough out on a floured work surface to 3 mm-thick. Cut a 27 cm-diameter circle and line the base and side of a greased 23 cm springform pan. Pour in filling and bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until centre is just set and top is golden. Cool in the oven with the door ajar, then refrigerate in the pan until cold. Serve dusted with icing sugar, if desired.


As seen in Feast magazine, Issue 11, pg56.

Photography by John Reyment