Ricotta cheesecake, or simply “ricotta cake” as it’s known around these parts, is a tricky dish to get right. This is a recipes for this fluffy textured Italian-style cheesecake that’s so popular.
1-1/2 cups crushed vanilla wafers (about 45 wafers)
1/4 cup butter, melted
2 15-oz. containers whole-milk ricotta
1 Tbsp. plus 1 cup sugar
2 8-oz. packages cream cheese, room temperature, cut into cubes
2 large eggs
2 Tbsp. salt-free matzo meal
1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
2 1/2 tsp. lemon zest
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/8 tsp. kosher salt
Powdered sugar (for dusting)
In a small bowl, combine wafer crumbs and butter. Press onto the bottom of a greased 9 1/2-in. springform pan. Bake at 325° F for 12-14 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool.
Arrange rack in lower third of oven and preheat to 350°
Put ricotta in a large fine-mesh strainer set over a bowl. Drain for 30 minutes.
Transfer ricotta to a processor. Purée for 15 seconds. Scrape down sides of processor; purée until smooth. Add cream cheese; purée until smooth. Add the remaining sugar and all other ingredients; purée, scraping down sides occasionally, until smooth, about 30 seconds. Scrape batter into prepared pan.
Bake cheesecake until golden brown and just set, about 1 hour 15 minutes. Transfer to a rack and let cool in pan (cake will fall slightly). Refrigerate uncovered until cool, about 3 hours. Then cover and chill overnight.
To serve, wrap a warm towel around pan to release cake. Remove pan sides. Dust with powdered sugar. Cut into wedges.