Baked apricot and ricotta cheesecake

This is one of the best things I cooked in Italy (if I do say so myself). I love baked cheesecake, especially when it’s light and fluffy. This one is reminiscent of a souffle in its fluffiness. There are such beautiful apricots in season in Italy, so I couldn’t not cook something with them. If you want to make this and it’s not apricot season, I reckon other stone fruit would work well – try plums, nectarines or peaches. I do love the tangyness and the bright orange of the apricots though.

For the base:

  • 170g crushed digestives (I used an Italian brand – wholewheat with bits of dried fruit)
  • 125g melted unsalted butter
  • 12 apricots, cut in half and stones removed
  • 30ml sugar
  • 750ml water

For the filling:

  • 500g ricotta
  • 80ml cream
  • Zest of 2 lemons
  • 4 eggs, separated
  • 80g sugar

For the base, mix together the biscuits and butter and spread across the base of a cake tin. Cover with clingfilm and leave in the fridge for an hour or two.

Meanwhile, poach the apricots in the sugar and water on a low heat until the apricots start to soften and the skin wrinkles (should be about 10 minutes).

To make the filling, mix together the ricotta, cream, lemon zest, sugar and egg yolks. Whisk the egg whites with a pinch of salt until stiff. Fold in gently into the ricotta mixture. Lay the apricots, cut side down, on top of the biscuit base. Cover with the filling and bake in the oven at 180C for an hour.

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