How to make: ricotta & blueberry cheesecake

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Traditional baked cheesecake, thick & full with flavour is one of my sister’s favourite desserts.  Usually, I can take it or leave it (with a slice of chocolate cake instead), but baked ricotta cheesecake, I will always take at least one slice of.  Fresh & light, it is much more suited to a bright March spring day.  I’ve adapted a recipe from the wonderful Rachel Allen, incorporating ricotta & mascarpone sitting on top of blueberries which burst open while baking to add a deep hue of colour & a welcome pop of flavour.  Finished off with a buttery biscuit base, this is a cheesecake that somehow manages to be rich, creamy & light all at once.  In other words, one worth having a second slice of.

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For the base:

  • 160g biscuits (digestives work well)
  • 55g butter
  • 150g blueberries

For the cheesecake:

  • 280g cream cheese
  • 250g ricotta
  • 70g mascarpone
  • 120g caster sugar
  • 1tsp vanilla extract
  • 4 medium eggs
  • 60ml cream

Line the bottom & sides of a 20cm springform cake tin.  Preheat your oven to 140ºC.  (This low heat will slowly bake your cheesecake to perfection & you won’t have to trouble yourself with a water bath.)
 

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  1. First make the base.  Melt the butter over a low heat.  While cooling, pop your biscuits into a food processor for about 1 1/2 minutes until you have a fine sandy mixture.
  2. Mix the melted butter & biscuits with a metal spoon.  Tip into your cake tin & using the back of the spoon or your hands, press into the base of the tin until smooth & level.  Dot your blueberries on top & place into your refrigerator while making up the cheesecake mixture.
  3. Place the cream cheese, ricotta, mascarpone, sugar & vanilla extract in your mixing bowl. Using an electric mixer, beat together for about 3 minutes until smooth & creamy.
  4. Beat in the eggs one at a time, scraping down any mixture from the sides of the bowl.
  5. Beat in the cream until fully incorporated.  Give a quick mix through with a spatula at the end, as some of the cheese may settle to the bottom.
  6. Using a spatula, pour this mixture over your blueberry biscuit base & bake in your oven for about 90 minutes to 1 1/2 hours.  What you are looking for is a deep golden yellow on top, a gentle wobble when you shake your cake tin & a skewer should come out with the mixture clinging to it a little.
  7. Leave to cool for about tin minutes before removing the springform sides.  Leave to cool for another 5-10 minutes before removing the parchment paper from the sides of the cake.  Once completely cool, chill in the refrigerator for a further 4 hours.

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For best results, take out of the fridge about 15-20 minutes before slicing.  This cheesecake holds very well, once kept refrigerated, for 4 days.

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