My late, Sicilian grandmother would make an orange ricotta cheesecake every year, for our joint birthday celebration. Thinking about that memory, I recently began to search through her cookbook for the recipe. Fortunately, I found her handwritten notes for this cheesecake. The note contained a list of the ingredients, however, there were no directions.
At first, I thought this would be a challenge. Nevertheless, I was determined to recreate this memorable dessert. Well to my excitement, not only did I replicate my grandmother’s Orange Ricotta Cheesecake, but I discovered, it may well be one of the easiest cakes, I have ever made.
Baked Orange Ricotta Cheesecake
As you may already know, in fact, there are two types of cheesecake, unbaked or baked.
An unbaked or no-bake cheesecake does not contain eggs. Most common ingredients in an unbaked cheesecake include butter, sugar, cream cheese as well as sweetened condensed milk. Made with a graham cracker or cookie crust, this style of cheesecake requires that you chill it, in order to set.
My Orange Ricotta Cheesecake needs to be baked, just like the more well known, New York Style and classic Cheesecake.
Classic, New York Style or Ricotta Cheesecake
You may have a preference for either Classic, New York or Ricotta style, but I must admit, I have rarely met a creamy cheesecake that I didn’t like.
- Classic or regular cheesecake is known for its silky creamy texture, achieved as a result from its somewhat thinner batter and the addition of sour cream.
- New York Style is rich tasting and rather large.
- Ricotta or Italian style is generally citrus flavored with a lighter texture.
Making Orange Ricotta Cheesecake
Often, family recipes that are passed down through generations remind us of our loved ones and the experiences we shared. This recipe, as I previously stated, is based on my late grandmother’s version. Making her Orange Ricotta cheesecake invoked feelings of comfort and happiness for me. Allowing me to relive the memories of her, through the power of food.
It should be noted, that my recipe does not call for a crust and is gluten-free, as well. However, like most cheesecakes, it is somewhat indulgent. When not serving whole for a special occasion, you can freeze portioned servings for up to a month or two. Just, make sure to use a freezer container or wrap tightly in heavy duty aluminum foil.
*Unlike most cheesecake recipes, it is not necessary to use a springform pan for this recipe
You will need:
- 8oz. Cream Cheese, softened
- 3lbs. of Ricotta Cheese
- 10 Eggs
- 1 tbsp. Orange Zest
- 2 cups Sugar
- 1/2 pint Heavy Cream
- 1 tsp. Vanilla
Directions for Orange Ricotta Cheesecake
- First, make sure to remove cream cheese from refrigerator, allowing for time to soften.
- Using a large stand or hand mixer, combine cream cheese, ricotta, eggs, orange zest, sugar, heavy cream with vanilla and whisk until smooth.
- Next, just pour mixture into a lightly greased 13 X 9 inch baking dish and place in a preheated 325° oven for 1 hour.
- Once cheesecake is done, shut off the oven and don’t open oven door. The cheesecake must remains in the oven for another hour, before you can remove it.
I encourage you to try this, quite simple to make, Sicilian Orange Ricotta Cheesecake. Savor it with a steamy cup of espresso or cappuccino. It makes a wonderful, special occasion dolce or sweet treat.
Moppina and Wooden Spoon Kitchen Talk
- While this recipe for Orange Ricotta Cheesecake makes 12-18 servings, you can easily halve the recipe or freeze leftover portions.
- Try serving with fresh orange slices.
- Top with a dollop of whipped cream or powdered sugar.
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