Time for another cheesecake – this time a baked White Peach & Ricotta Cheesecake.
I’m always up for new and interesting versions of cheesecake – sometimes it’s good to break away from the standard tangy cream cheese filling and go with something a bit different. This Italian style recipe combines ricotta and mascarpone to create a lighter, more textured cheese cake.
Thanks to Taste.com.au for this lovely recipe with its seasonal white peaches and hint of amaretto. I stayed pretty much with the recipe, though while the recipe suggests using amaretti biscuits within the base (which would have been more authentic), I opted for ginger biscuits – a: because I felt ginger would work nicely with the peaches, and b: because I had some left-over gluten-free ginger nut biscuits that I wanted to use up (making the dessert gluten-free). I’ve left the recipe as is though, so you can decide for yourself.
I baked the cheesecake for a family dinner and it went down a treat. The great thing about it was that it was much lighter than a standard cheesecake and a lovely way to finish off a Saturday night meal. I highly recommend it. Enjoy!
- 4 white peaches, halved, stoned
- 110g (3.8 oz) caster sugar (super fine), divided, plus extra to dust
- 60ml (1/4 cup) amaretto liqueur
- 100g (3.5 oz) amaretti biscuits*
- 150g (5.2 oz) plain biscuits (like graham crackers or digestives)
- 150g (5.2 oz) unsalted butter, divided
- 250g (8.8 oz) firm ricotta
- 250g (8.8 oz) mascarpone
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
- 3 eggs
- Chop 2 peaches into bite sized pieces, then place in a saucepan with 2 tablespoons sugar, 1 tablespoon amaretto and a pinch of salt. Cook over medium heat for 8 minutes or until peaches are soft. Drain, reserving syrup. Transfer peaches to a bowl and set aside to cool. Stir 1 tablespoon amaretto into syrup, then reserve syrup to serve (you can refrigerate until needed).
- Grease a 20cm springform cake pan, then line base and side with baking paper. Process all biscuits in a food processor to crumbs. Melt 125g** (4.4 oz) butter, add to biscuit mixture, then stir to combine. Transfer mixture to prepared pan, then press over base and halfway up the side. Using a straight-edged glass, press side to form an even shell. Refrigerate for 30 minutes or until biscuit shell is firm.
- Preheat oven to 160°C (320°F). Process ricotta, mascarpone, lemon zest, vanilla and remaining 75g (2.6 oz) sugar in a food processor until smooth. Add eggs, one at a time, processing until well combined after each addition. Add cooked peaches and remaining 1 tablespoon amaretto, and stir until combined.
- Pour mixture into biscuit shell in pan. Bake for 1 hour 15 minutes or until edge is set and centre jiggles just slightly when pan is shaken (the mixture will rise quite a lot in the oven, but then deflate as it cools). Turn oven off and leave cake in oven with the door held ajar with a wooden spoon for 2 hours or until cool enough to handle.*** Refrigerate for at least 3 hours (or overnight) or until firm.
- To make caramelised peaches (for placing on top of the cheesecake), cut remaining 2 peaches into wedges and dust with extra caster sugar. Melt remaining 25g (0.88 oz) butter in a frying pan over medium heat. Cook peaches for 2 minutes each side or until caramelised. Cool.
- Top cake with caramelised peaches. Drizzle with reserved syrup and a good dollop of freshly whipped cream to serve.
**It's best not to add all the butter at once, as depending on the biscuits, the full amount can make the mixture too wet. Add enough just until the biscuit crumbs hold together when pinched.
***I actually didn't keep the cheesecake in the oven after cooking it; I'm always a little nervous that it will overcook the cheesecake. I simply let it cool completely on the kitchen bench, then transferred it to the fridge.
Food Photography Info: Canon 550D (EOS Rebel T2i); Sigma 30mm 1.4 DC ‘Art’ lens / Natural lighting