Ricotta cheese makes this cheesecake extra creamy! It pairs perfectly with the berry topping!
The classic Italian cheesecake is made with ricotta cheese. Best if you are using whole milk ricotta for the best flavor. Fresh lemon juice gives it a special flavor!
Secret Ingredient for the best Italian Cheesecake: Ricotta!
Ricotta cheese is an Italian staple used in many savory and sweet recipes. Ricotta cheese is a type of Italian whey cheese made from the whey left over from the production of other cheeses. It is a fresh cheese, meaning it is not aged and is typically consumed within a few days of production. It has a creamy texture and a slightly sweet and nutty taste. Ricotta is a versatile ingredient, it can be used in sweet or savory dishes, such as lasagnas, cannoli, cakes, or even as a spread on bread. It is also a low-fat and low-calorie option compared to other cheeses.
Ricotta cheesecake is a variation of traditional cheesecake that uses ricotta cheese as the main ingredient. This type of cheesecake is known for its creamy texture and slightly tangy taste. Fresh lemon juice and zest give this cheesecake an extra flavor boost!
Read here how to get a perfectly smooth cheesecake!
How to make the a thick and creamy berry sauce!
If you want to have pieces of berries in your sauce cook it only 3 minutes. If you want a thick and creamy consistency cook it for 10 minutes and make pulse it in a food processor or mixer until smooth. Alternatively you can strain it with a metal strainer.
These are the cheesecake pans that I always use in my recipe videos: Springform pan and Removable bottom pan
A 8 inch springform pan is the traditional choice to make most cheesecake recipes. I usually use it for no bake cheesecakes. For baked cheesecakes I prefer the removable bottom pan. It has the advantage of fitting a water bath snuggly around it.
To ensure a crack free cheesecake I recommend to read this cheesecake recipe
Creamy Italian Ricotta Cheesecake
24 oz (680 g) cream cheese, softened at room temperature
1 1/2 cups (340 g) whole milk ricotta cheese
1 cup (200 g) sugar
3 tbsp flour
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1 – 1 1/2 tsp lemon zest, optional
1/4 cup lemon juice, optional
1/4 tsp salt
4 large eggs, at room temperature
1 egg yolk, optional
1/4 cup (60 ml) heavy cream, at room temperature
For the Graham cracker crust:
2 cups (240 g) graham cracker crumbs (18 crackers)
6 tbsp (85 g) melted butter
2 tbsp (25 g) sugar
For the berry sauce:
12 oz (340 g) mixed berries, frozen or fresh (if frozen, do not thaw before)
1/4 cup (60 ml) lemon juice
1 tbsp lemon zest
1/4 cup (50 g) sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1/3 cup of fresh berries for decoration, optional
Check out my New York Cheesecake tutorial while this one is in the making
Preheat the oven to 350 °F. Crush up Graham cracker in a food processor or use a zip lock bag and a rolling pin to make cookie crumbs. Mix the fine crumbs with melted butter and sugar. Press the mixture in a lined and oiled spring form pan and bake it for about 10 to 12 minutes. Let it come to room temperature. Reduce the oven temperature to 310 °F.
To make the cheesecake filling, start off with a large bowl or use a food processor. Add the cream cheese, ricotta, sugar and flour to a big mixing bowl and mix it until smooth for about 4 minutes. Scrape it down after each mixing to ensure no lumps are left. Add vanilla, lemon juice and lemon zest. Mix until well combined. Add in heavy cream and eggs. Mix until smooth for about 2 minutes.
Fill the cheesecake batter on top of the cookie crust. To bake the cake cover the spring form pan in aluminum foil or a silicon baking pan to make sure no water can enter. Place it in a slightly bigger baking pan and fill it 1 inch high with water. Bake the cake in this water bath at 310 °F for about 80 minutes until the top turns golden brown. Turn off the oven and let it cool in the oven for about 10 minutes. Take it out of the oven and water bath and cut around the edge to prevent cracking. Let it come to room temperature for another 30 minutes. Then let it cool over night or for at least 6 hours in the fridge.
To decorate the cake make a berry sauce. Into a medium sized pot add sugar, lemon juice, vanilla, berries and lemon zest. Bring to a simmer and let it cook for about 10 minutes. Keep stirring to avoid burning. When it has thickened remove from heat and let it cool before using. The sauce is going to thicken more as it cools. Step 5:
Decorate the cake immediately before serving with berry sauce, fresh raspberries, blueberries and blackberries! Serve directly from the fridge! The longer the cheesecake stays at room temperature the softer it gets!
Don’t overbake the cheesecake as it will continue baking while cooling down. When the cake has a slightly jiggly texture in the center it is done baking.
When you have left over filling use it for mouth-sized mini cheesecakes! Line up a cupcake baking sheet and fill it with crust and the left over filling. Bake the mini cheesecakes with the regular cheesecake but only for 20 minutes. They are even easier to bake since they don’t need a water bath. Let them cool down at room temperature and let them rest in the fridge for at least 2 hours before eating.
To ensure a crack free cheesecake I recommend to read this cheesecake recipe.
I love to add more lemon juice for a stronger flavor.
Add more flavor with a whipped cream topping: To make the whipped cream use a tall measuring cup. Add heavy cream and powdered sugar. Whip it on low for about 30 seconds with a hand mixer using the whisk attachment. When it begins to thicken increase speed and whip until fluffy. Fill it in a piping bag with a star tip. Pipe some swirls of whipped cream and garnish with strawberry sauce immediately before serving.