13 January 2009

Recipe: Pine Nut Ricotta Cheesecake with Macerated Strawberries








Pine Nut Ricotta Cheesecake with Macerated Strawberries

Here’s a little beauty of a dessert high in protein! Perfect for the weekend gathering.

Cheesecakes are immensely popular in Louisiana. Because of the Italian and Sicilian descendants who made their homes in Louisiana over a century ago there is a great respect for Italian ingredients like ricotta cheese.

While it is true that ricotta cheese is high in fat it is also high in protein. Just anticipate your calories for the day, adjust them accordingly and then cut a smaller slice to enjoy without worry!


From: Pastry Chef Caroline Threinen, FireLake Grill House & Cocktail Bar
Minneapolis, Minnesota

Yield: 12 servings – preparation time is 1 ½ hours plus baking and chilling times


Ingredients for Macerated Strawberries:


Two (12-oz.) cartons fresh strawberries, washed, hulled and quartered

½ cup sugar

1 Tablespoon Grand Marnier

Ingredients for Pine Nut Crust:

1 ½ cup all purpose flour

¼ cup sugar

¼ cup pine nuts, toasted and chopped

½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter

1 large egg yolk


Ingredients for Ricotta Cheesecake Filling:


8 ounces cream cheese, softened

1 cup ricotta cheese

2 large eggs

4 large egg yolks

1 cup light corn syrup

½ cup pine nuts


Garnish:

Sweetened whipped cream


Directions for Macerated Strawberries: Toss together strawberry quarters, sugar and Grand Marnier and allow to macerate, covered, for at least 2 hours or until strawberry juices are released.


Directions to make crust: Position a rack on lower shelf of oven and preheat oven to 350° F.

In bowl of an electric mixer, using paddle attachment, combine flour, sugar, pine nuts, butter and egg yolk. Mix just until the mixture starts to come together as a dough. If it seems dry, add a little water. Shape dough into a disc. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.

On a floured piece of parchment paper, roll out dough into a circle about 13” in diameter. Line an 11” tart pan with removable bottom with dough and trim off excess dough. Line dough with parchment and fill halfway with beans, rice or pie weights. Par-bake the shell for 10 minutes; remove the parchment paper and weights and bake for another 12-15 minutes, until light golden brown. Set aside to cool. Lower oven temperature to 325° F.


Directions to make Ricotta Cheesecake Filling: Place cream cheese, ricotta cheese, eggs and yolks in food processor and process until fully combined. With machine running, gradually pour in light corn syrup. Pour mixture into cooled tart shell. Sprinkle whole pine nuts over filling. Bake cheesecake for 40-45 minutes, until set.
Chill tart for at least 1 hour before serving. Serve each slice with macerated strawberries and a dollop of whipped cream.


FireLake Grill House & Cocktail Bar
31 South Seventh Street
Minneapolis, Minnesota 55402
612 – 216 - 3473

Note: For other recipes visit my other fun blog –
Romancing The Chocolate
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