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LEMON RICOTTA CHEESECAKE WITH BLUEBERRY SAUCE

Lemon Ricotta Cheesecake with Blueberry Sauce

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This Lemon Ricotta Cheesecake with Blueberry Sauce combines the tangy brightness of lemons with the creamy texture of ricotta and cream cheese, topped with a luscious blueberry sauce. This dessert is perfect for special occasions or simply when you want to treat yourself. Here’s how to make this delightful cheesecake.

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Ingredients

For the Graham Cracker Crust:

  • 2 cups graham cracker crumbs (from about 14 crackers)
  • ⅓ cup of sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 7 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

For the Lemon Ricotta Cheesecake:

  • 3 8-ounce packages cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese, at room temperature
  • 1¼ cups sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • Juice and zest of 3 lemons

For the Blueberry Sauce:

  • 2 pints fresh blueberries, divided
  • ¼ cup of sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • ¼ cup of water

Instructions

Step 1: Prepare the Crust

  1. Preheat Oven: Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C).
  2. Mix Crust Ingredients: In a medium bowl, combine the graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and salt. Add the melted butter and stir until the mixture resembles wet sand.
  3. Press Crust: Press the mixture firmly into the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan. Use the back of a spoon or a flat-bottomed glass to press it evenly.
  4. Bake Crust: Bake the crust for 10 minutes, then set aside to cool while you prepare the filling.

Step 2: Make the Cheesecake Filling

  1. Beat Cream Cheese and Ricotta: In a large mixing bowl, beat the softened cream cheese and ricotta cheese together until smooth and creamy.
  2. Add Sugar and Vanilla: Add the sugar and vanilla extract, and beat until well combined.
  3. Add Eggs and Yolks: Add the eggs and egg yolks one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  4. Incorporate Flour and Lemon: Add the flour, lemon juice, and lemon zest, and mix until fully incorporated.

Step 3: Bake the Cheesecake

  1. Prepare Pan: Wrap the bottom of the springform pan with aluminum foil to prevent water from seeping in during the water bath.
  2. Add Filling: Pour the cheesecake filling over the cooled crust and spread it out evenly.
  3. Water Bath: Place the springform pan in a larger roasting pan. Pour hot water into the roasting pan until it reaches halfway up the sides of the springform pan.
  4. Bake: Bake the cheesecake for 60-70 minutes, or until the edges are set but the center still jiggles slightly.
  5. Cool: Turn off the oven and crack the door open. Let the cheesecake cool in the oven for 1 hour to prevent cracking. Remove from the oven and cool completely at room temperature. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight.

Step 4: Prepare the Blueberry Sauce

  1. Cook Blueberries: In a medium saucepan, combine 1 pint of blueberries, sugar, cornstarch, lemon juice, and water. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until the mixture boils and thickens.
  2. Add Remaining Blueberries: Remove from heat and stir in the remaining pint of blueberries. Allow the sauce to cool to room temperature.

Step 5: Serve the Cheesecake

  1. Release Cheesecake: Carefully remove the cheesecake from the springform pan.
  2. Top with Sauce: Spoon the blueberry sauce over the top of the cheesecake or serve it on the side.
  3. Garnish: Garnish with additional lemon zest or fresh blueberries if desired.

Tips for Success

Preparing the Crust

  • Crumb Fineness: Ensure the graham cracker crumbs are finely ground for a smooth crust.
  • Even Pressing: Use a flat-bottomed glass to press the crust evenly into the pan.

Cheesecake Filling

  • Room Temperature Ingredients: Make sure all dairy ingredients are at room temperature to ensure a smooth batter.
  • Avoid Overmixing: Overmixing can incorporate too much air, causing cracks. Mix until just combined.

Baking and Cooling

  • Water Bath: The water bath helps the cheesecake cook evenly and prevents cracking.
  • Gradual Cooling: Allow the cheesecake to cool gradually to prevent sudden temperature changes that can cause cracks.

Variations

Crust Options

  • Biscuit Base: Use crushed digestive biscuits or shortbread cookies for a different flavor.
  • Nut Crust: Mix in finely chopped nuts for added texture.

Toppings

  • Mixed Berries: Use a combination of raspberries, blackberries, and strawberries for the sauce.
  • Citrus: Add a citrus curd (like lemon or orange) on top before serving.

Flavor Enhancements

  • Herbs: Add a hint of fresh herbs like thyme or rosemary to the blueberry sauce.
  • Spices: Incorporate a pinch of cinnamon or nutmeg into the crust for added warmth.

Serving Suggestions

Presentation

  • Slices: Slice the cheesecake with a sharp knife, wiping it clean between cuts for neat slices.
  • Plating: Serve each slice with a generous spoonful of blueberry sauce and a dollop of whipped cream.

Accompaniments

  • Whipped Cream: Freshly whipped cream complements the tangy and sweet flavors.
  • Coffee: A cup of strong coffee or espresso pairs perfectly with the rich cheesecake.

Storage

Refrigeration

  • Store: Store the cheesecake in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
  • Sauce: Keep the blueberry sauce in a separate container in the refrigerator.

Freezing

  • Freeze: Wrap the cheesecake (without the sauce) tightly in plastic wrap, then in aluminum foil, and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight before serving.

This Lemon Ricotta Cheesecake with Blueberry Sauce is a show-stopping dessert that’s sure to impress. The creamy, lemon-infused cheesecake paired with the sweet-tart blueberry sauce creates a delightful balance of flavors. Whether for a special occasion or simply to satisfy a cheesecake craving, this recipe is a must-try. Enjoy each bite of this creamy, zesty, and fruity treat!

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