Whenever the festive season rolls around, most home chefs are allotting precious time to specially curate their holiday menus which almost always include one or two decadent confections. Next to flourless chocolate cake and homemade peppermint bark, who doesn't love a tall and creamy slice of classic baked cheesecake? While there's nothing quite like a cream cheese and graham cracker-based dessert, you may often wish your stomach had more room to accommodate the wide variety of confections often served around the holidays.
Whether you desire a lighter alternative to traditional cheesecake or simply want to make a new recipe that proves to be easily adapted to include seasonal ingredients, you may want to try your hand at making a homemade ricotta cheesecake. Unlike traditional cheesecake which has an interior composed of softened cream cheese, sugar, and eggs, ricotta cheesecake is made with eggs, sugar, flour, and whole milk ricotta cheese. There are many benefits to making the latter this holiday season including the less-than-heavy consistency and fresh flavor of ricotta cheese. The ingredients of ricotta cheesecake are mixed either by hand or in your food processor and the best part about this dish is that you can customize the crust and flavor to make a truly delicious and seasonal dessert. Before revealing different ways to add specific flavors to this creamy treat, what sets ricotta cheesecake apart from the classic original in terms of preparation?
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Ricotta Cheesecake Is Simple To Assemble
With festive gatherings involving more than one complicated dish, having a few reliable side dishes and desserts is key to enjoying the holidays. Oftentimes, making traditional cheesecake can seem like a hassle, especially since the included cream cheese needs to be thawed beforehand. To make a delicious and crowd-pleasing ricotta cheesecake, you can either par-bake the graham cracker or biscuit crust ahead of time or mix the base right before you prepare the filling. Since ricotta cheese doesn't need to be thawed, you can use it straight from your refrigerator, or if you have extra time, strain the creamy cheese through a mesh sieve for a few hours to create an even thicker cheesecake.
Regardless, assembly is quite simple and once all the base ingredients are whisked together, all you need to do is bake this luscious dessert. While you can bake your ricotta cheesecake straight away, if you want an epically soft and uniform treat, wrap your springform pan in foil and place your uncooked cheesecake in a hot water bath before baking. This alternative cheesecake will satisfy your cheesecake cravings without leaving you overly full due to the lighter consistency of ricotta cheese. One great element of this airy confection is that it can be customized with several different ingredients.
Ricotta Cheesecake Can Be Tailor-Made To Fit Your Taste Preferences
Along with egg nog pie, you can craft a delightfully seasonal ricotta cheesecake with a few additional ingredients. Start with the crust by swapping out some of those mashed graham crackers for your favorite variety of chopped nuts. Hazelnuts and pistachios are always popular around the holidays and develop a nice roasted flavor under that light and creamy ricotta filling. Next to nuts, you can also use gingersnaps to impart the flavor of classic warming spices.
If you want to add more seasonal flair to your ricotta filling, try utilizing some citrus zest to give your ricotta cheesecake some extra brightness. With some delightful orange zest added to the filling, you can top your ricotta cheesecake with orange slices and a sprinkling of pomegranate arils. Utilizing simple seasonal produce is a great way to upgrade the nuanced flavor of this confection. Aside from in-season fruit, you can add your favorite flavor extract such as peppermint, and then top your dessert with crushed candy canes and white chocolate. There are many ways to upgrade your ricotta cheesecake for this year's holiday festivities.
For those still on the fence about choosing a ricotta cheesecake over the traditional classic, some recipes for baked ricotta cheesecake include both cream cheese and ricotta cheese. Whichever recipe you choose, with its no-fuss assembly and customizable qualities, ricotta cheesecake is the perfect dessert for your next holiday feast.
Read the original article on Daily Meal.