Italian Ricotta Cheesecake

This cake is very rich, therefore the following recipe will make one 9-inch cheesecake from which you should get 14 slices. Leftovers should be stored in the refrigerator lightly covered with plastic-wrap.

Pastry Cream

1 cup whole milk
4 Tablespoons salted butter*
4 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
4 Tablespoons granulated sugar

  1. In small saucepan, over medium heat, bring milk to a scald. Do not boil.
  2. In a medium saucepan, over medium-low heat, melt butter, Add flour and sugar to form a sweet roux, being careful not to brown.
  3. Slowly whisk the scalded milk into the roux and increase heat to medium high. Continue to stir the mixture until smooth and thick. Remove from heat to cool.
  4. While pastry cream cools, prepare a traditional pie dough and line a 9-inch springform cake pan with half, saving the balance for the lattice topping.

Cheesecake Filling

3 pounds good ricotta cheese
1-1/2 cups granulated sugar
6 large eggs (slightly beaten)
4 Tablespoons orange flower water
1 Tablespoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
3 teaspoons flour
3 teaspoons cornstarch
1 batch pastry cream (see above)

  1. Combine the ricotta cheese, sugar, and eggs in the bowl of a stand mixer on medium-low speed.
  2. Add orange flower water, vanilla, cinnamon, flour and cornstarch and continue to mix for about 5 minutes until all ingredients are well combined.
  3. Add pastry cream and continue to mix for another 2 minutes.
  4. Pour filling into prepared cake pan, add lattice top, flute the edges and bake in 450ºF. preheated oven for 1 hour.
  5. Carefully remove cake from oven and cool completely before un-molding and cutting.
  6. Before serving, generously dust each slice with confectioners sugar.

*Note: If using unsalted butter, add 1/8 teaspoon salt.