Saturday, June 12, 2010



In my mind, there is nothing better than a slice of New York-style cheesecake.  Firm, cheesy, buttery and rich – it needs no topping, no adornment because it is sheer perfection.  Today's cheesecake,however, is not New York-style cake.  It’s made with ricotta, and even though flour is added to the batter, it doesn’t produce the characteristic firmness that New York-style cheesecake is known for.  Instead, the cake is light, yet rich and cheesy.  As our neighbors so aptly said the other evening when we dined together and ate this for dessert, “You can eat a nice slice of this and not feel like you’re weighed down for the rest of the evening.” 

Although my fave cheesecake will always be NY style, there is room in my heart for others, and this one has made its way in.  The filling contains some Amaretto (almond liqueur), and the peaches are heated in a skillet with peach preserves and more liqueur.  Almonds are in the crust also, and these flavors all blend well.  Everyone gave this dessert two thumbs up, way up.  Though it’s not my fave, I’m rating it highly because we all enjoyed it thoroughly and I would make it again.

Ricotta Cheesecake with Almond Liqueur-Glazed Peaches
Adapted from Taste of Home Magnolia Dream Cheesecake
Rating:  9 out of 10

1/2 cup toasted almonds
3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs (I used my homemade crackers)
3 Tbsp. butter, melted

Cheesecake Filling:
1 (15-oz.) container Part-Skim Ricotta cheese, room temperature
12 oz. Neufchatel cheese,  room temperature
1 (8 oz.) container lite sour cream,  room temperature
1 tsp. vanilla powder (or vanilla extract)
Big pinch of sea salt
1 cup sugar
3 Tbsp. + 1 tsp. flour
2 Tbsp. almond liqueur (such as Amaretto)
3 large eggs, room temperature

Glazed Peach Topping:
1/4 cup peach preserves or jam
About 3 cups peeled, pitted, sliced ripe peaches
1/4 cup almond liqueur (such as Amaretto), or Peach Brandy

Heat oven to 325F.  Place a greased 8-inch springform pan on a double thickness of heavy-duty foil.  Securely wrap foil around pan.
In work bowl of food processor, combine almonds and cracker crumbs.  Pulse till almonds are ground.  Add butter and pulse till well combined.  Press onto bottom and 1 inch up sides of prepared pan.  Place pan on a baking sheet.  Bake 10 minutes, or till set and beginning to brown.  Cool on wire rack.

Bring about 1-1/2 quarts of water to a boil; cover; off heat. 

Increase oven temperature to 375F.  Wipe work bowl with damp paper towel.  Combine cheeses, sour cream, vanilla and salt.  Process till smooth and no lumps remain, scraping down sides and bottom in between pulses.  Add flour and liqueur; pulse till combined, about 5 seconds.  Add eggs, one at a time, pulsing about 5 seconds after each.  Pour into cooled crust.

(Please note:  This cheesecake will not rise and will not crack.)  Place springform pan inside a large baking pan; add 1 inch (about 1-1/2 quarts) of hot water to larger pan.  Place on center rack of oven; close door; reduce heat to 300F.   Bake about 1 hour 30 minutes, or until center is almost set and top appears dull.  Remove springform pan from water bath.  Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes.  Carefully run a knife around edge of pan to loosen; cool 1 hour longer.  Refrigerate overnight.

Next day, heat preserves and peaches in large skillet on medium heat till peaches begin to give off their juices and liquid starts to boil.

Turn heat to high and add liqueur.  Cook peaches over high heat till liquids start to reduce and peaches become tender.  Reduce heat back to medium and gradually transfer tender peaches from skillet to a wide bowl to cool.  (Place in refrigerator for faster cooling.)  Cook remaining liquid in pan till about 4 Tbsp. are left.  Reserve this for brushing on tops of peaches. 

After peaches are cooled, arrange them over top of cheesecake, beginning with outer edges and working in towards center.  Pour any remaining liquid from peaches into the reserved glaze and stir together.  Brush over tops of peaches.  Carefully cut slices by using a very sharp serrated knife and gently cutting through peaches so as not to disturb their placement.
Yield:  8-10 servings


Katy ~ said...

My! My! My! This looks divine and so beautifully prepared! Oh, yes, If there's any truth that we eat with our eyes first, then I think I have eaten that entire cheesecake!

Debbie said...

My favorite cheesecake has always been ricotta cheesecake. This one looks delicious. I will have to try this sometime with the amaretto and peaches. Wow...

Faith said...

Wow, this is absolutely beautiful! I've never had peaches with cheesecake, I bet it's delicious!

MelindaRD said...

It looks great and I love that you used the homemade graham crackers for this.

My Little Space said...

Judy, your cheese cake looks awesome delicious! OMG, I just love cheesecake so much especially the nice touch of the peaches. Yummm... Hope you're having a wonderful weekend!
Cheers, Kristy

Sophie said...

What a stunning ricotta cheesecake!!

MMMMMMMMMMMMM,...!!! I so love the liqueur infused peaches,...yummie!

Sweet and Savory said...

What a beautiful cheesecake. I think, I would love a light cheesecake and ricotta has a flavor of its own, subtle but good.

Mary said...

What a fantastic looking treat. I've never used peaches to top a cheesecake. You've started me thinking :-). I hope you are having a great day. Blessings...Mary

Ingrid said...

Gorgeous presentation! I am not just learning the patience it takes to make the food as pretty as it is yummy. You nailed it with those peaches.

Btw, I'm not particular about my cheesecakes and this one not only looks amazing but it sounds like it too.

bella said...

OK, Judy. . . this is now a MUST-MAKE recipe. the peaches have been ripe for about a month now and will be until the end of I'm needing to make something 'peachy' right now. This sounds perfect! Roz