Take a Bite Out of NYC With Our Book Club-Inspired Ricotta Cheesecake Recipe
Prep Time | 30 - 45 minutes
Wine Varietal: Chardonnay
Say “cheesecake” and most people will think of New York. The Big Apple does many things well, and this delicious, creamy dessert is one of them. That’s why this recipe for Ricotta Cheesecake With Biscotti Crust is the ideal treat to serve to your book club as you gather to discuss The Wicked City by Beatriz Williams.
Your book club will enjoy diving into all the intricacies of this time-bending story, set in NYC, while devouring this divine dessert, which comes straight from Adventures in Slow Cooking by Sarah DiGregorio. There won’t be any slices to spare once your guests get a taste. Serve it with a bottle of Sutter Home Chardonnay, and the conversation will flow as graciously as the wine.
RICOTTA CHEESECAKE WITH BISCOTTI CRUST FROMADVENTURES IN SLOW COOKINGBY SARAH DIGREGORIO:
- 4 ounces pistachio or almond biscotti
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 12 ounces (1 ½ 8-ounce blocks) full-fat cream cheese (not cream cheese spread), at room temperature
- 12 ounces (1 ½ cups) whole milk ricotta, drained in a fine-mesh strainer, at room temperature
- ¾ cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon pure almond extract
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Finely grated zest of ½ large lemon (about 2 teaspoons)
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 3 large eggs, lightly beaten
- Shelled unsalted pistachios and mini–chocolate chips, for topping
How to Make:
- Pour 4 cups water into a 6- to 8-quart oval slow cooker or a 4- to 8-quart round slow cooker.
- Choose an oven-safe baking dish that fits in your slow cooker and holds at least 6 cups, such as a 2-quart soufflé dish, or a 8 ½× 4 ½-inch loaf pan. (If you have a round slow cooker, you must use a round baking dish, not a loaf pan.)
- To make sure you have the right amount of water in the cooker, try putting the empty baking dish in the slow cooker.
- The water should come about halfway up the sides of the dish, and the water should not start to slop into the dish.
- Add or remove water to get it to the right level.
- Put the biscotti into a food processor and process until the cookies are in fine crumbs.
- Drizzle in the melted butter and pulse until the mixture looks like slightly wet sand.
- Press the biscotti mixture into the bottom of the baking dish or loaf pan, then put it in the fridge.
- Rinse out the food processor and put the cream cheese, ricotta, sugar, almond and vanilla extracts, lemon zest, and salt into it.
- Process until combined and very smooth, about 1 minute, scraping down the sides at least once.
- Add the eggs and process just to fully combine, (about 20 seconds), scraping down the sides once. (Do not beat eggs too much because they’ll cause the cheesecake to act a little like a soufflé—rising and then falling in the middle.)
- Pour the filling into the prepared pan with the crust and set the pan in the slow cooker.
- Place a double layer of paper towels over the top of the cooker to soak up condensation, leave overhang so the paper towels don’t fall onto the cheesecake, and then close the lid on top of the paper towels.
- Cook on HIGH until the cake is set but still a little jiggly in the middle, (about 2 hours 30 minutes.)
- Turn off and uncover the cooker and let the cheesecake cool a little so that you can lift it out.
- Let it cool completely at room temperature, then cover it with plastic and (refrigerate for at least 1 hour and up to 2 days.)
- To remove the cheesecake from the baking dish, or loaf pan, run a thin knife or spatula around the edges, then put a plate on top and flip the pan to invert the cheesecake onto the plate. Invert again onto another plate so the cake is right side up.
- Scatter pistachios and chocolate chips over the top and serve.
For an even nicer look, like the one in the photo, melt the chocolate chips in a microwave or in a bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Put the chocolate into a small zip-top bag, seal the bag, snip a very small opening in one corner, and drizzle the melted chocolate in ribbons over the cake, then sprinkle on the pistachios.
In case you missed it, check out our review of last month’s book club selection: The Wicked City by Beatriz Williams.