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Ricotta Cheesecake with Blood Orange Marmalade Glaze

Ricotta Cheesecake with Blood Orange Marmalade Glaze
Ricotta gives this cake an added creaminess, and garnet-hued blood orange marmalade makes a flavorful topping.

Ingredients:

  • 6 oz. gingersnap cookies
  • 1 1/4 cups walnuts
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 5 Tbs. unsalted butter, melted

For the filling:

  • 8 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature, cut
     into 4 pieces
  • 7 oz. whole-milk ricotta, drained well
  • Grated zest of 1 orange
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 4 eggs, separated
  • 2/3 cup heavy cream
  • 1/8 tsp. salt

For the blood orange marmalade topping:

  • 1/2 cup blood orange or regular orange
     marmalade
  • 2 to 3 Tbs. water
  • Shredded zest of 1 orange

Directions:

Preheat an oven to 325°F.

To make the crust, in a food processor, finely chop the cookies and transfer to a bowl. Finely grind the walnuts with the sugar and add to the ground cookies. Add the melted butter and mix well until the dry ingredients are evenly moistened. Transfer the crumb mixture to a 9-inch springform pan and, using your fingers, cover the bottom and about 1 1/2 inches up the sides of the pan. Bake until lightly browned, about 15 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool for 10 minutes, then place in the freezer. Reduce the oven temperature to 300°F.

To make the filling, in a blender or food processor, combine the cream cheese, ricotta, orange zest, sugar, vanilla, egg yolks, cream and salt. Process until smooth, 1 to 2 minutes. Pour into a large bowl.

In another bowl, using an electric mixer on high speed, beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form. Using a spatula, fold about one-third of the egg whites into the cheese mixture and stir to incorporate. Then, gently fold in the remaining egg whites just until incorporated.

Remove the crust from the freezer and pour the cheese mixture into it, smoothing the top. Bake for 30 minutes. Increase the oven temperature to 325°F and continue to bake until the surface is golden and the edges are firm but the center still jiggles, 30 to 35 minutes more. Turn off the oven, open the oven door, and let the cheesecake cool in the oven for about 3 hours. The center will fall slightly. Cover tightly with plastic wrap, being careful not to let the wrap touch the surface. Refrigerate for at least 12 hours or up to overnight.

To make the orange topping, in a small saucepan over low heat, combine the marmalade and water and heat to melt the marmalade. Set aside until cool, then spread on top of the cheesecake, creating an even layer of glaze. Garnish with the orange zest.

Release and remove the pan sides and place the cheesecake on a serving plate. To serve, cut into wedges with a sharp knife, dipping it into water and wiping it dry after each cut. Serves 6 to 8, with leftovers.
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma, Christmas Entertaining, by Georgeanne Brennan (Simon & Schuster, 2005).