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Joy of Baking

Ricotta cheesecake

(Food Styling/Lisa Falso; Tom Herde for The Boston Globe)
April 7, 2010

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Makes one 9-inch cake or enough to serve 10

Brookline High School culinary arts teacher Judy Saler took a recipe for ricotta cheesecake and revamped it to make it more nutritious. She uses a combination of tofu and ricotta and the cake is very smooth, deliciously creamy, with just the right amount of sweetness. Any plain cookies, pulverized in a food processor, form the base of the cheesecake. Before you bake, drain the ricotta to release the liquid: Line a colander with cheesecloth and set it over a large bowl. Add the ricotta and let it sit for 1 hour, then discard the excess liquid.

Butter (for the pan)
9 ounces sugar cookies or other plain cookies
1 1/2 pounds fresh ricotta, drained
1 package (1 pound) silken tofu
6 eggs
2/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg

1. Set the oven at 325 degrees. Set a rack in the lower third of the oven. Lightly butter a 9-inch springform pan.

2. In a food processor, work the cookies until they are pulverized. Coat the pan with the crumbs, leaving any loose crumbs on the bottom of the pan.

3. Wash and dry the processor work bowl. Add the ricotta, tofu, eggs, sugar, flour, salt, lemon juice, vanilla, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Work in on-off motions until just blended.

4. Pour the filling onto the cookie crumbs. Set the springform on a rimmed baking sheet to catch any drips. Bake the cheesecake for 1 1/2-1 3/4 hours or until it is puffed and golden, but the center is still slightly wobbly. Cool in the pan on a wire rack (the cake will sink a little).

5. Unlatch the springform rim and slide the cheesecake onto a platter. Cut into wedges.

Adapted from Judy Saler