Ricotta is a summer cheese, usually a by-product of pecorino production. While it lasts, Italians will include it in just about everything, not least desserts. Ms Fullick tops her cheesecake with chocolate, as many Italians might do. Another option would be flavour the basic cheese mixture with rosewater and geranium petals, or grate in some lemon zest and serve it with a puree of soft summer fruit.
This version has biscuits in the mix rather than a crumble base. Those who also want a conventional base should make it with roughly 10oz (280g) ground digestive biscuits mixed with 3oz (90g) melted butter, adding a splash of water if necessary.
Equipment: 8in spring-release tin, buttered, the bottom lined with grease-proof paper (a 2in-deep pie dish will do)
Ingredients: 8oz (225g) ricotta
4oz (115g) castor sugar
4 small eggs, or 3 large, separated
1tbs vanilla sugar (or 1/4 tsp
2oz (60g) dark chocolate, grated
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
4oz (115g) lady finger biscuits
1-2tbs icing sugar
Preparation: Preheat oven to 175C/350F/Gas 4. Put ricotta through a mouli or wire sieve (not a food processor). Reserve. In a large bowl, whisk the egg yolks with 2oz (60g) of castor sugar, cinnamon and vanilla sugar until thick. Add ricotta and blend gently but thoroughly. Crumble biscuits and blend into mixture.
Whisk the egg whites until they are frothy. Gradually add 2oz (60g) of castor sugar, beating until the mixture forms soft peaks, then very gently fold into the cheese and yolk mixture. Using a spatula, pour into the prepared baking tin and sprinkle with chocolate. Place in low middle rack of oven.
Immediately reduce oven heat to 150C/325F/Gas 3. Cook for approx 45 minutes. Remove from tin and sprinkle with icing sugar. Serve warm or cold.
NEXT week: the first of our recipes on cool summer dishes. Send recipes, stating the source, to Emily Green, Recipe, Weekend Features, The Independent, 40 City Road, London EC1Y 2DB. Those whose recipes we publish will receive a bottle of Sancerre Rose Les Romaines 1992 Vacheron, supplied by the importers of rare wines Ried Wines of Hallatrow, near Bristol.Reuse content