Go Back
Ricotta Cheesecake Brandied Cherries

Ricotta Cheesecake

Rich, luscious, and decadent. This ricotta cheesecake is baked with homemade ricotta and topped with sweet brandied cherries. 
Yield: 9-inch springform pan
Prep Time: 35 mins
Cook Time: 50 mins
Chill Time: 1 hr
Total Time: 2 hrs 25 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American, Italian
Keyword: ricotta cheesecake, homemade ricotta, ricotta cake, brandied cherries
Servings: 10 slices
Author: Maryanne Cabrera

Ingredients

Homemade Ricotta:

  • 4 cups whole milk
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 Tablespoon distilled white vinegar , or fresh squeezed lemon or lime juice

Crust:

  • 8 oz graham crackers
  • 5 Tablespoons melted butter
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt

Ricotta Cheesecake Filling:

  • 4 large eggs, separated
  • ½ cup + 1 Tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 11 oz homemade ricotta
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated orange zest

Brandied Cherry Topping:

  • 24.7 oz jar Trader Joe's Dark Morello Cherries in light syrup , drained to 12 oz liquid
  • cup brandy
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ Tablespoon cornstarch
  • ¼ cup water

Instructions

Homemade Ricotta:

  • Pour whole milk, cream, salt and acid in a heavy-bottomed stainless steel sauce pot. No need to stir or mix ingredients together. Place pot on stove over medium-high heat and wait for mixture to boil.
  • Meanwhile, place a strainer lined with cheesecloth over a medium bowl and have a slotted spoon ready.
  • Once mixture has come to a boil, remove pot from heat and let it sit undisturbed at room temperature for 15 minutes. At this point the mixture should start to coagulate and thicken.
  • Use a slotted spoon to scoop up the formed cheese curds. Gently transfer cheese curds to prepared cheesecloth. Do not simply pour the mixture into the strainer. You do not want to break up the curds that have formed.
  • Once you have scooped up all the curds, tie up the cheesecloth into a pouch. You can adjust the moisture of ricotta to your liking depending on how tight you tie the pouch. Looser tie means wetter ricotta, tighter tie means drier cheese. (I prefer dry) At this point the ricotta will be warm. You can use it immediately or store in the fridge to cool down and firm up. (I prefer the latter.)

Crust:

  • Preheat oven to 325° F. 
  • In a food processor, pulse graham crackers until mixture resembles even coarse sand. Transfer to a medium bowl. Add melted butter, cinnamon and salt. Mix until combined.   Press mixture into the bottom of the prepared baking pan to form the crust. Set aside.
  • Press mixture into the bottom of the parchment lined 9-inch springform pan to form the crust. Set aside.

Ricotta Filling:

  • In the bowl of stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat egg yolks and 1/2 cup sugar until pale in color, about 3-5 minutes. Add cooled ricotta and mix until smooth. Fold in vanilla and orange zest.
  • In a separate bowl, whip egg whites and remaining 1 tablespoon sugar to soft peaks. Gently fold egg white mixture into ricotta mixture in three additions.
  • Pour ricotta filling over crust. Spread into an even layer. Bake for 50 minutes until cheesecake is set and just barely golden brown along the edges. 
  • Turn off oven and leave oven door slightly ajar. Allow cheesecake to cool in oven for 30 minutes before removing. Remove and let cheesecake cool to room temperature. Once cheesecake is completely cooled, store in the fridge until chilled or ready to serve.

Brandied Cherry Topping:

  • Drain cherries. Place cherries, brandy, sugar, and 2 tablespoons water in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring often until sugar has dissolved, about 3 minutes.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together cornstarch and remaining 2 tablespoons water until mixture is smooth. Add to cherry sauce. Cook until mixture has slightly thickened and has come to a boil for about 30-45 seconds. 
  • Remove from heat and allow cherry topping to cool. Transfer to an airtight container and keep chilled in the fridge until ready to serve. Serve cherry topping chilled or at room temperature over chilled cheesecake. 

Notes

Storage and Leftovers:
  • Store leftover ricotta cheesecake in an airtight container for up to 4 days. The cheesecake will dry out over time.
  • Brandied cherry topping can be stored in an airtight container for 7-10 days.