Salty Honey Ricotta Cheesecake

SERVES: 8

Think of this as Burnt Basque Cheesecake’s more delicate sistah. This recipe replaces the traditionally called for cream cheese with ricotta, which results in a light, fluffy, melt-in-your mouth texture. While I love a dense Basque or NY style cheesecake, this is the kind of cheesecake that you can easily have second helpings of without getting a belly ache.

Active Time: 25 Mins

Total Time: 1 hr 30 mins

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Pantry

  • ¼ cup raw sesame seeds
  • 1 ¼ cups granulated sugar
  • ⅓ cup plus ¼ cup honey
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 ¼ teaspoons kosher salt
  • 6 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • Extra virgin olive oil, for serving
  • Flaky sea salt

Dairy

  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 3 cups whole milk ricotta cheese
  • ⅓ cup heavy cream

Protein

  • 5 large eggs
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1. Prep the cake pan:

  • Preheat the oven to 400.
  • Melt 1 tablespoon of butter. Using a pastry brush or your fingers, generously coat the bottom and insides of a 9” springform cake pan, making sure it’s evenly buttered all over.
  • Sprinkle ¼ cup raw sesame seeds inside the cake pan tilting and tapping it until the sesame seeds coat the entire bottom and up the sides of the pan. Place the prepared pan on a rimmed baking sheet.

2. Make the ricotta base:

  • If your ricotta is very wet and liquidy, set it over a few layers of paper towel inside a sieve and allow some of excess moisture to drip off/be absorbed for about 15 minutes.
  • In the bowl of a food processor combine 3 cups ricotta, 1¼ cups granulated sugar, ⅓ cup honey, ⅓ cup heavy cream, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, and 1¼  teaspoons kosher salt, and process until very smooth and creamy.
  • Separate 5 eggs, transferring the whites to a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer. Add the egg yolks to the ricotta cream along with 6 tablespoons all purpose flour and pulse a few times until the mixture is pale yellow and homogenous. Scrape the ricotta mixture into a clean large bowl and set aside.

3. Whip the egg whites:

  • Whip the egg whites (either with a whisk, electric mixer or stand mixer) until stiff peaks form and they hold their shape when you lift the whisk out of the bowl (about 2 minutes on medium speed in a stand mixer).
  • Scrape the egg white mixture into the ricotta mixture, and gently fold and stir in big sweeping motions until well combined and there aren’t many white streaks left.
  • Pour the batter straight into the prepared cake pan. Bake until the cake is burnished and deep golden brown all over, and only jiggles slightly when shaken, 50-55 minutes. Let cool 30 minutes, then run a thin spatula or butter knife around the outside of the cake to help release it from the sides of the cake pan. Release the cake pan and remove the ring, to allow the cake to finish cooling entirely.
  • Just before serving, warm an additional ¼ cup of honey in a small saucepan or pot until loose and heated through (do not boil).
  • Serve the cake, cut into wedges (warm, room temperature or cold) drizzled with warm honey and extra virgin olive oil and topped with flaky sea salt.

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