Ricotta Cheesecake

Happy Halloween! This is one of my favorite holidays of the year because I love dressing up and being scared.

Today's recipe isn't Halloween-related at all. Actually, it has sugar in it, so it's somewhat on theme. When I last visited Philly, I ate the best cheesecake ever at this little restaurant called Gran Caffe L'Aquila (after a delicious meal of fresh pasta) and it's haunted me ever since.

This was my attempt to recreate it. I didn't quite achieve the texture I was looking for - the ricotta cheesecake at Gran Caffe was more similar to a mousse - but it was much lighter and fluffier than most cheesecakes I've eaten and of course it tasted delicious so I thought it was still worth sharing.
Ingredients:
32 oz. container whole milk ricotta
12 oz. cream cheese
1 cup sugar
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon lemon zest
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
8.8 oz. package Biscoff cookies
4 tablespoons butter, melted

Start by making the crust. Grind up an entire package of Biscoff cookies in the food processor (or take out your frustrations and stress with a rolling pin and a zip-top bag) and then toss the crumbs in melted butter.
Press the crumbs into the bottom of a springform pan. I chose not to prebake the crust because the crust on the cake that inspired this one was a bit softer than a traditional crust.
In a blender, combine the ricotta, cream cheese, lemon zest, lemon juice, eggs, vanilla extract, and a pinch of salt.
Blend until smooth. If your blender is less powerful, you may want to start with just the cream cheese and then add in a little ricotta at a time, and then the rest of the ingredients. And the goal here is to incorporate a lot of air so there really isn't such a thing as over-blending.
Pour the cream cheese batter into the pan.
Bake the cheesecake in a 350F oven for one hour or until slightly golden and the filling is set.
Allow the cheesecake to cool completely before setting in the fridge to chill.
Decorate with berries and powdered sugar, if you like, and serve.
This cheesecake is just slightly sweet with a wonderful lemony note and just the perfect amount of richness from the cream cheese. The ricotta helps keep the texture fluffy and light and I think that Biscoff crusts are better than graham crusts. Sorry, graham crackers. They're just a bit toastier and nuttier and more delicious.
I actually made this cake for my sister's birthday. Not the most traditional birthday dessert, but she loved it and that's all that matters.
Here's the recipe page:

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