Ricotta Cheesecake with Blackberries

This makes a decadent cheesecake – you can use whatever berries are in season, just make sure they are the peak of ripeness!

FOR THE CRUST

  • 1 c toasted pecan pieces
  • 1/4 c flour
  • 3 tbsp sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

FOR THE FILLING

  • 1 8-ounce package cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 3/4 c sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 32-ounce whole milk ricotta
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp amaretto (rum or Grand Marnier may be substituted)
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch

FOR THE TOPPING

  • 8 ozs (about 2-1/2 c) fresh berries

Preheat the oven to 325°F and set an oven rack in the middle position. Spray a 9-inch springform pan with nonstick cooking spray.

To make the crust: place the almonds, flour, sugar and salt in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the blade attachment. Process until the nuts are finely chopped and the mixture looks sandy. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg yolk, cooled melted butter and vanilla. Add the liquid mixture to the nut mixture and pulse several times until the ingredients are well combined, moistened and crumbly. Dump the mixture into the prepared pan and, using your fingers or the bottom of a measuring cup, press into an even layer. Place the pan in the freezer for 10 minutes to chill; then bake for 10-15 minutes, until the crust is lightly golden. Let cool on a wire rack.

Meanwhile, make the filling: Combine the cream cheese, sugar and salt in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the blade attachment. Process until soft and creamy, about 1 minute. Add the ricotta and process until the mixture is smooth and light, another 2 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, processing for 5-10 seconds between each addition. Add the vanilla, amaretto, cornstarch and orange zest and process until mixture is just combined (do not overmix).

Pour the filling into the crust, smoothing the top with a spatula. Bake the cheesecake for about 50 – 60 minutes, until the top is lightly golden, the edges are set and the center is quite jiggly but not totally liquid (it will continue to cook as it cools). Carefully remove the cheesecake from the oven and allow it to cool completely on a wire rack. Once cool, run a thin-bladed knife around the edge of the cake to make sure it’s not sticking to the sides then cover with plastic wrap and transfer to the refrigerator to cool for at least 2 hours or overnight.

For the topping: After the cake has chilled, place the berries evenly over top. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

For serving: Remove the sides of the springform pan and slice.

Serves 8 – 10.

Blackberry Grunt

This is a quick summer dessert. You can use any kind of berries you have or even thawed frozen ones.

Ingredients:
3 c berries
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 c sugar
2 tbsp lemon juice

Topping:
1 1/4 c flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
5 tbsp cold butter, cut into small pieces
1/2 c milk
1 egg, lightly beaten.

Preheat oven to 375. 

Toss berries with sugar, cinnamon and lemon in a bowl. Place in a 10 inch baking dish. 

Combine flour, salt and baking powder in a food processor. Add butter and pulse until it resembles course crumbs. Add milk and egg and pulse until combined. Drop by the tbsp onto the berries. Bake 20 minutes. 

Serves 6 – 8.

Almond Cake with Berries

 

I love a quick and easy cake. I topped it with whipped cream and fruit. Thanks to F&W for another great recipe! It is also gluten and lactose free.

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb almond flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 lb mixed berries, plus extra for garnish
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 c coconut palm or regular sugar
  • 1 tsp rose water

Preheat oven to 325. Spray a 9 inch springform pan.

In a medium bowl, whisk together almond flour, baking powder and salt.

Beat eggs, sugar and rose water in a stand mixer until thick and glossy. Stir in almond flour until smooth. Fold in berries and pour into pan.

Bake cake for 55 minutes, until a tester comes out clean. Cook for 10 minutes. Unmold and let cool completely.

Serve with whip cream and berries.

Serves 10 – 12.