Ricotta and Amaretti Cheesecake

Dessert: Serves 6-8
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Indy Lifestyle Online

A double thumbs-up from an American who knows her cheesecake is as great a recommendation as I can give on this one. An autumnal fruit compote spooned over when you come to eat it would be a delight.

A double thumbs-up from an American who knows her cheesecake is as great a recommendation as I can give on this one. An autumnal fruit compote spooned over when you come to eat it would be a delight.

Pastry
40g unsalted butter, softened
40g caster sugar
1 large egg yolk
100g plain flour, sifted

Almond Cream
100g amaretti
40g unsalted butter, diced
1 large egg

Filling
3 x 250g tubs of ricotta
180g caster sugar
40g cornflour, sifted
4 medium organic eggs
2 tsp vanilla essence
150g fromage frais

To make the pastry, cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy in a food processor or bowl. Beat in the egg yolk, and then add the flour. As soon as the dough begins to form a ball, wrap it in clingfilm and chill for at least an hour. You may need to add a couple of drops of water to bring the dough together.

Preheat the oven to 180C fan oven/190C or 375 F electric oven/Gas 5. To make the almond cream, place the amaretti in a food processor and reduce to fine crumbs, almost a powder. Add the butter and cream with the amaretti, then beat in the egg.

Butter the base of a 20cm cake tin with a removable base. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to a round about 23cm in diameter, and cut a circle to fit the base of the tin. Spread the almond cream over the pastry in the tin and bake in the oven for 20 minutes until golden and firm. Allow to cool.

Reduce the oven temperature to 170C fan oven/180C or 350F electric oven/Gas 4. To make the filling, blend the ricotta with the sugar and cornflour in a food processor or mixer for a couple of minutes until very creamy. Now add the eggs (one at a time), the vanilla essence and the fromage frais.

Wrap foil around the tin. Pour in the mixture and smooth the surface. Place it in a roasting tray with hot, but not boiling, water that comes 2cm of the way up the sides of the tin, and bake for one and half hours, until the centre has set and the top is golden. It may wobble a little if moved from side to side, but shouldn't have the appearance of being sloppy beneath the surface.

Once cooked, run a knife around the collar, remove it and allow the cake to cool completely. Cover with clingfilm and chill for several hours or overnight, during which time it will set to the perfect consistency. Remove the cheesecake from the fridge about 20 minutes before eating.

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