Posts tagged ‘cheesecake’

January 1, 2009

Kiwi Lime Cheesecake

This was my final fling of summer.  I caught a great deal on kiwi fruit at the grocer and kind of needed a means of getting rid of them all.  So I present to you a kiwi lime cheesecake.  It turned out a bit bland in colour, so you might want to add a drop of green food colouring to yours to liven it up, but I thought about that a bit late in the game.  This turned out with the citrus tang of a key lime pie but the kiwi mellowed it out slightly.

One of the biggest problems with baked cheesecakes is the cracking.  There are a few tricks to prevent this.  Firstly, the most critical part is beating.  You want to smooth out the creams very well before adding the eggs.  Use the back of a spatula after beating with a mixer, pulling the cream from the centre and then pressing against the sides of the bowl.  When you add the eggs, they should be your final step and blend them in by hand.  If you beat them with the mixer you run the risk of bringing too much air in and then you get air pockets.  Also, make certain you really prepare your springform pan with plenty of grease or butter or spray.  If the sides of the cake while cooking are able to pull away from the pan, that will reduce the risk of it cracking in the centre.  Lastly, I use two different sized springform pans.  The larger one I fill with water once my batter is in the smaller pan.  The water helps keep the oven humid and makes the cake cook evenly.

Ingredientskiwicheesecake 19

2 cups (16 ounces) cream cheese, softened (not the whipped kind, it is too airy)

2 cups whole milk ricotta cheese

1 cup sour cream

2 cups granulated sugar

1/2 cup flour, unsifted

5 eggs, room temperature

4 kiwis

1 lime

1 Tablespoon vanilla

 

Directions

  • Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
  • In large mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese, sour cream and ricotta until well blended.
  • Add flour and sugar and beat at a medium speed until mixed thoroughly.
  • Cut kiwis in half and set one halve aside.
  • Juice remaining halves, allowing for pulp, but no skin.*
  • Halve the lime and juice one half.  Set aside the remaining halve.
  • Add vanilla and lime to kiwi puree and fold into cream mixture using a spatula.
  • Break eggs into a separate bowl and beat with a fork only enough to blend yolks.
  • Fold eggs into cream batter.
  • Heavily butter the walls of a springform pan or round cake dish.
  • Pour in batter.
  • Set springform pan or cake dish into a larger dish.  Fill larger dish halfway with water.
  • Bake for 45 to 50 minutes.  The centre will be slightly jiggly, but remaining cake will be firm when ready.
  • Remove from heat and allow to cool at room temperature for at least one hour before chilling.
  • Slice remaining lime and kiwi for decoration.
  • Serve chilled.

 

*I used the juicer for the kiwi puree as it worked better than trying to skin them and then puree the meat of the fruit.

kiwicheesecake 1kiwicheesecake 3kiwicheesecake 7kiwicheesecake 14

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January 1, 2009

Cassata Arance

If you are accustomed to cream cheese based cheesecakes, this may take an adjustment for your tastebuds.  Sicilian cheesecakes, or cassatas, are made with ricotta cheese and are not as sweet and unlike American cheesecakes, they are lighter and have almost a baked custard texture.

And as for oranges, forget Florida.  It doesn’t get any better than a Sicilian blood orange or arance.  Their centers are blood red like a pink grapefruit.  If your local grocer doesn’t carry blood oranges, which there is a good bet that they don’t, you can substitue with mandarins for this recipe.  The key is finding a sharp tart orange, the smaller the better the concentrated flavour.

It is critical that you have a springform pan for this recipe, a round cake pan just will not suffice.  The water used in the glass dish allows for the cake to remain moist while baking.  This will reduce the chance of the cake cracking or separating.

I hope you like this dessert as much as I do, it displays beautifully and is just so tasty!

Ingredientscheesecake

2 16 oz. containers of ricotta cheese (typically found near cottage cheese in the grocery)

1/2 cup sugar

6 large eggs

1/3 cup flour, sifted

2 blood oranges

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

  • Preheat oven to 275 F.
  • Grease and lightly flour springform pan.*
  • Using aluminium foil, wrap the base of the springform pan to prevent seapage.
  • Set pan in a glass baking dish, 13 x 9.
  • Fill glass dish halfway with tap water.
  • In a large mixing bowl, beat ricotta at medium speed with an electric mixer until smooth.
  • With a whisk, stir in sugar and flour into ricotta until well blended.
  • One at a time, beat eggs into mixture.
  • Add spices and vanilla, blend thoroughly.
  • Using a zester or the rough side of a peeler, grate a few spoonfuls of orange peel into a bowl.
  • Peel oranges and segment.
  • Pour one half of batter into springform pan.
  • Gently lay orange segments onto the batter, do not stir.
  • Pour remaining batter over top.
  • Sprinkle orange peel zest over top.
  • Bake for 1 hour, or until knife comes out clean.
  • Remove springform pan from water and allow to cool for at least one hour before unhinging.
  • Serve after slightly cooled.

*If you can find them, there are aerosol sprays that have flour and oil combined and work perfectly for this purpose.  I prefer Baker’s Joy brand.