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Blood Orange Cheesecake

Ricotta cheese makes this lighter and less rich than a standard cheesecake.

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Ingredients

Filling

  • 2 cups fresh ricotta cheese
  • 6 or 7 Graham crackers, crushed into crumbs (3/4 cup)
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 envelope unflavored gelatin
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons milk
  • Pinch of salt
  • Grated zest of 1/2 orange
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream, whipped
  • 1 Candied Blood Orange Slice
  • Blood Orange Glaze

Candied Blood Orange Slices

  • 1 blood orange, scrubbed
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons light corn syrup

Blood Orange Glaze

  • 3/4 teaspoon unflavored gelatine
  • 7 tablespoons freshly squeezed blood-orange juice, strained (1 to 2 oranges)
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon cornstarch

Instructions

  1. Place ricotta in a sieve lined with cheesecloth, place in refrigerator, and let the ricotta drain for several hours or overnight.
  2. Heat the oven to 350 degrees F. Fit a parchment circle into the bottom of a 7-inch springform pan.
  3. Crust: Combine Graham-cracker crumbs and 2 tablespoons sugar in a small bowl. Stir in melted butter with a fork until crumbs are moistened. Press into bottom of pan, and bake for 10 minutes.
  4. Filling: Place lemon juice in a small bowl, and sprinkle gelatin over the surface. Set aside for 10 minutes to soften.
  5. In a small, heavy saucepan, beat egg yolks until smooth. Whisk in milk. Gradually whisk in remaining 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar. Add salt. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until mixture coats the back of a spoon, about 7 minutes. Do not allow to boil. Transfer to a bowl, and stir.
  6. Stir in softened gelatin, orange zest, and vanilla, mixing until gelatin is completely dissolved. Set custard aside.
  7. Place drained ricotta in the bowl of a food processor, and process until smooth. Add cream cheese, and process again until smooth. With machine running, add warm custard, and process just long enough to combine. Transfer to a bowl, and fold in whipped cream. Pour mixture into the prepared pan, cover, and chill overnight.
  8. Place a candied orange slice in center of cake. Pour glaze over top, tipping cake pan to cover completely. Chill for 1 hour, or until glaze is set.
  9. To unmold, wrap a hot towel around sides of pan to help release cake, and run a thin knife around the inside of the pan. Carefully remove outside of pan. Slide onto a serving plate, and chill until ready to serve.
  10. Candied Blood Orange Slices: Cut orange into 1/8-inch slices. In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine sugar, water, and syrup. Bring to a boil, cover, and simmer until clear and no crystals cling to sides of pan, about 3 minutes. Add orange slices in 1 layer; simmer until transparent, about 1 hour. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a wire rack to cool.
  11. Blood Orange Glaze: In a small bowl, sprinkle gelatin over 2 tablespoons of the juice; let stand until soft, about 10 minutes. In a small saucepan, bring sugar and 4 tablespoons juice to a boil.
  12. Combine remaining tablespoon juice and cornstarch in a small bowl. Stir until dissolved; whisk into boiling orange juice. Remove from heat. Stir in softened gelatin. Cool to lukewarm, and pour over cake.

Makes enough for one 7-inch cake

Source: marthastewart.com