Saturday, July 10, 2010

A Lotta Ricotta

While trying to clean out the backlog of periodicals piling up in my house, I came across a bunch of Martha Stewart Living magazines that I received last year.  Little did I know when I ordered a Martha flower arrangement online that I would be inundated with complimentary copies of her magazine. 

A beautifully photographed publication, it's a hoot to leaf through just to see Martha's flagrant cross-promotion of her endless products and business ventures.  Omnimedia is an understatement.  The funniest part of the magazine, however, is her calendar for the month; by calendar, I mean Martha's "personal" calendar listing her planned activities each day.  It's at the front of every issue.

Take, for instance (and this is one I pulled randomly this minute), January 13, 2010 -  "Freeze cubes of white vinegar, and grind them in garbage disposal to freshen (citrus peel and hot water work well, too.) " Thanks for the tip, Martha.  Yes, I can see her jamming those frozen vinegarsicles down the sink and grinding them to an acidic pulp, and it better happen on January 13 or heads will roll!  Who believes this stuff?   Here's another good one:  January 31 - "Pulse bread (or uncooked white rice) in coffee grinder to remove residue."  FYI, she spent the day doing that and making chicken soup.  Wow, if a media mogul like Martha can find the time to do this, then the rest of us must be serious losers.  Send me another magazine to rub it in.

But I digress.  Here's the point.  I have a hard time throwing out recipes, and this is one I yanked from Martha's magazine before it hit the recycling bin.  It sounded easy and interesting and lighter than a regular cheesecake.   It was!   A nice summer dessert, it is deliciously light and fluffy, thanks to those whipped egg whites.  I prepared a fresh strawberry syrup to top it, but Hubmeister said it was good enough on its own and didn't need it.  Our teenage son said this cake is so eggy, it tastes like sweet quiche.  He piled on the strawberries.  Oh, well.  You can't please everyone.  At least Hubmeister, I and the all-knowing Martha like it.  You be the judge.

Ricotta Cheesecake
(Martha Stewart Living)

Unsalted butter, room temperature, for pan
3/4 C sugar, plus more for pan
1 1/2 lbs. fresh whole-milk ricotta cheese, pureed in a food processor until smooth
6 large eggs, separated
1/4 C all-purpose flour
Finely grated zest of 1 orange or 2 lemons ( I used lemons)
1/4 tsp. salt

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Generously butter and sugar a 9-inch springform pan (3 inches deep).  Whisk together ricotta, egg yolks, flour, 6 tablespoons sugar, the zest, and salt in a large bowl.

Whisk egg whites with the mixer on low speed until foamy.  Raise speed to high and gradually add remaining 6 tablespoons sugar, whisking until stiff, glossy peaks form, 3 to 4 minutes.  Gently fold a third of the whites into the ricotta mixture using a rubber spatula until just combined.   Gently fold in remaining whites until just combined.

Pour batter into pan and bake until center is firm and top is deep golden brown, about 1 hour.  Let cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes.  Run a knife around edge of cake; release sides to remove from pan, and let cool completely. 

Make ahead:  This cheesecake is best eaten the day it is baked, but it can be refrigerated, covered loosely with plastic wrap, for up to 3 days.  Let stand at room temperature for 20 minutes before serving. 

Notes:  Temperature shmemperature!  This cake is good cold.  Don't worry about bringing it to room temperature. 

1 comment:

  1. It looks wonderful!! :)
    And I'm still laughing about your comments on the mogul's calendar!!