David's Favorite Recipes

Directions - Pastry Crust

Place flour, ginger, 2 teaspoons sugar and 3/4 teaspoons salt in a food processor. Cover and process with pulses until combined. Then add butter pieces. Cover and pulse until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. With the machine running, add the ice water in a slow, steady stream. Process about 15 seconds or until begins to clump together, but is still a bit crumbly.

Gather flour mixture into a ball, kneading gently until it holds together. Wrap pastry in plastic wrap and chill for an hour. Use you hands to slightly flatten pastry between 2 pieces of waxed paper. Roll pastry from center to edges into a circle about 13″ in diameter. Remove waxed paper and wrap pastry around rolling pin. Unroll into a 9″ springform pan that has a removable bottom. Ease pastry into pan without stretching it. Press onto the bottom and up the sides of the pan. Chill for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line pastry with a double thickness of aluminum foil. Bake for 10 minutes. Then remove foil and bake about 15 minutes more or until golden. Cool on a wire rack.

Directions - Filling

Heat oven to 375 degrees. In a medium sized bowl combine cream cheese, sugar and vanilla. Beat with an electric mixer on medium to high speed until smooth and creamy. Beat in ricotta, eggs, milk and salt until combined.

Pour filling into baked crust. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until outer edges begin to puff and the center is set. Cool on a wire rack for 2 hours (filling will continue to set). Cover and chill for at least 8 hours until filling is firm.

Using a small sharp knife, loosen crust from sides of pan. Before serving, spoon the marmalade (room temperature or warmed) onto the top of the cheesecake.

I grew up in New York and am very familiar with New York Style cheesecake. It’s very good on special holiday occasions, but is quite dense and needs raspberries or other sweetened fruit to enhance its subtle flavor. That’s why I was so excited recently to be invited to Elise Keely’s house for dinner and to be served her absolutely delicious Ricotta Cheesecake. It’s much lighter, very creamy and bursting with flavor. It’s now my favorite.

Ingredients - Pastry Crust

1 & 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 tablespoon finely chopped crystallized ginger
2 teaspoons sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter, cut into pieces
2-4 tablespoons ice water

Ingredients - Pastry CrustFilling

1 8 oz. package of cream cheese softened
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 15 oz. carton whole milk ricotta
2 eggs
1 tablespoon milk
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup orange marmalade