What’s For Dinner?
Mangia's Ricotta Cheesecake
(First star is lowest, fourth star is highest)
From the menu of . . . Mangia 101
4058 Peachtree Road, Atlanta
Q: I'm hoping you can persuade the folks at Mangia 101 to share their recipe for the sinful Ricotta Cheesecake. I'm not much of a cheesecake fan, but this dessert was one of the finest I've had.
--- Katie K. Bell, Decatur
A: Mangia 101's executive chef, Linda Harrell, was happy to provide the recipe. Ricotta cheesecakes often have a grainy texture, but this cake is creamier than most because of the addition of cream cheese and sour cream.
Hands on time: 25 minutes Total time: 5 hours and 40 minutes Serves: 12
For the crust:
2 cups ground graham crackers
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
For the filling:
1 1/2 pounds cream cheese
1 cup ricotta cheese, strained of excess water
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup honey
2 teaspoons lemon juice
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup sour cream
To make the crust: In a bowl, combine graham crackers, butter and cinnamon until moistened. Cover the bottom and sides of a 9-inch springform pan with crumbs (crumbs may not go all the way up the sides). Store in refrigerator while making filling.
To make the filling: In a separate bowl, blend cream cheese and ricotta until there are no lumps, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Gradually add the sugar and beat until creamy, scraping down sides as needed. Add the honey and beat until incorporated. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating until incorporated, scraping down the sides as needed. Add lemon juice and vanilla. Add sour cream and beat until just blended, scraping down the sides as needed. Be careful not to work the ingredients too much.
Pour the batter into the crust. Do not overfill. Place pan in a water bath and bake for 45 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool in pan for 30 minutes. Refrigerate for 4 hours before serving. Run a knife around cheesecake before removing the sides of the pan
To keep the texture, Harrell recommends draining your ricotta of excess water in a fine strainer for about an hour. Don't overfill your springform pan, since it can be a bit tricky maneuvering it to the oven in the water bath. If your pan has a tendency to leak, wrap it in foil before putting it in the water bath.