By Cat, Feb 2008 (Photo, right, from Wikimedia Commons)
I’m very particular about cheesecake. I don’t like the creamy, pudding-like kind at all, and will turn it down when offered. However, I do rather like the cakey kind, but can eat only a small serving, preferably with a berry topping and rich whipped raw cream as in this recipe.
Cheesecake with Berry Topping
My local newspaper, the Daily Interlake newspaper carried a low-fat cheesecake recipe from Jim Romanoff of the Associated Press (1). I’m not big on “Low Fat” so I’ve modified this recipe to use regular, rather than low-fat ingredients, including raw dairy as much as possible. However, I’ve not yet tested this recipe.
You might wonder what difference it makes to use raw dairy products in something that is going to be baked in a 325°F oven. While the surface may heat to that temperature, the interior will not approach pasteurization temperature, so that many of the enzymes remain active.
The original recipe calls for all purpose white flour and white sugar. I use unbleached white flour (knowing the fats in the dairy help to slow down absorption of the sugars in the starchy flour). But I definitely don’t want to use white sugar; indeed, I believe traditional cheesecake recipes use honey. Thus, I’ve modified the recipe to use part honey, part stevia in place of ¾ cup sugar.
This recipe does not include a crust, but the cheesecake makes its own light crust. You could make a cookie crust to line the pan if you prefer.
Every baked cheesecake recipe I’ve tried recommends leaving the cheesecake in the oven after baking, with the heat turned off, until the oven cools to room temperature. This seems to help with the proper cake-like texture. However, this particular recipe does not do that; it will be interesting to see how this different method turns out.
Ingredients & Equipment:
- 15-oz container whole-milk ricotta *
- ½ cup sour cream or creme fraiche *
- 4 oz cream cheese, softened *
- 3 large eggs
- ¼ cup raw honey
- ⅛ tsp pure stevia extract powder or ½ Tbsp dark liquid stevia extract
- ½ cup unbleached white flour
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp fresh-grated orange or lemon zest
- ¼ tsp Unrefined sea salt
* NOTE: use dairy made from raw milk if possible
- blender or food processor
- 9″ round springform pan (leakproof)
- wire rack
- Preheat oven to 325°F. Coat springform pan with olive oil.
- Stir the stevia into the honey and let it sit for a few minutes.
- Puree the ricotta in blender or food processor until smooth and creamy. Add sour cream, cream cheese, eggs, honey/stevia mixture, flour, vanilla, zest, and salt. Process until well blended.
- Pour into prepared pan and bake until the center is just set, 50 – 55 minutes.
- Transfer pan to wire rack to cool, then cover and chill pan in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours before removing cake from pan. The cake will be about 2 inches high.
- Cut into thin wedges and top with fresh berries or a berry sauce (See my recipes for Berry Topping or Blueberry Sauce). Garnish with a small dollop of whipped raw cream.
- Daily Inter Lake newspaper, February 27, 2008 edition; original recipe by Jim Romanoff of the Associated Press
- Fine Cooking, Lemon Bar Cheesecake recipe (inecooking.com/recipes/lemon-bar-cheesecake.aspx)