Cardamom Ricotta Cheese Cake

Based on several recipes. SERVINGS: 8-10

Ingredients

Crust

  • 2 cups finely ground graham crackers (about 30 squares) or 1 cup bread crumb
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon 
  • 3 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, melted

Filling

  • 2 15-oz. containers whole-milk ricotta 
  • 1 Tbsp. unsalted butter, room temperature 
  • 2 8-oz. packages cream cheese, room temperature, cut into cubes 
  • 1 cup sugar 
  • 1.5 Tbsp cardamom
  • 2 large eggs 
  • 2 Tbsp. salt-free matzo meal or flour
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice 
  • 2 1/2 tsp. lemon zest 
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract 
  • 1/8 tsp. kosher salt

Topping (optional)

  • 1 tsp crushed pistachio
  • honey

Directions

Crust

  1. In a mixing bowl, combine the ingredients with a fork until evenly moistened. 
  2. Lightly coat the bottom and sides of an 8-inch springform pan with non-stick cooking spray. 
  3. Pour the crumbs into the pan and, using the bottom of a measuring cup or the smooth bottom of a glass, press the crumbs down into the base and 1-inch up the sides. 
  4. Bake at 325° for 15 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.
  5. Refrigerate for 5 minutes.

Filling

  1. Put ricotta in a large fine-mesh strainer set over a bowl. Drain for 30 minutes. 
  2. Arrange rack in lower third of oven and preheat to 325°. 
  3. Set a cookie sheet of boiling water on a rack below the one for the cake
  4. Grease an 8″ springform pan with 2 1/2″-high sides with butter. 
  5. Transfer ricotta to a processor. Purée for 15 seconds. Scrape down sides of processor; purée until smooth. 
  6. Add cream cheese; purée until smooth. 
  7. Add the remaining sugar and all other ingredients; purée, scraping down sides occasionally, until smooth, about 30 seconds. 
  8. Scrape batter into prepared pan.
    Bake cheesecake until golden brown and just set, about 1 hour 15 minutes. The center will still look wet; if dry it’s been in there too long!
  9. Turn off the oven and leave the oven door open with a spatula for an hour.
  10. Transfer to a rack and let cool in pan (cake will fall slightly). 
  11. Refrigerate uncovered until cool, about 3 hours. Then cover and chill overnight. 
  12. To serve, wrap a warm towel around pan to release cake. Remove pan sides. Dust with powdered sugar. Cut into wedges.
  13. Serve with sprinkle of pistachios and drizzle with honey
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