Twice-baked Raspberry Ricotta Cheesecake with a Thyme Crust
A little resourcefulness can go a long way in the kitchen, whether it’s rustling up a meal from next to nothing in the fridge or substituting one ingredient for another. At Konditor & Cook, sometimes we need a bit of ingenuity to make a dessert stand out. It might be the way we finish it, the manner in which we present it, or the choice of ‘magic’ ingredients in the first place. I love to use fresh herbs and flowers in salads, and a few of my favourite sweets also draw on ingredients available in my garden. With the subtle addition of lemon thyme, I try to infuse this cheesecake with the flavour of an Italian country garden.
- 1 quantity of Sweet Pastry
- a sprig of lemon thyme
- 250g ricotta cheese
- 3 tbsp plain flour
- grated zest of ½ unwaxed lemon
- 2 eggs, separated
- 75ml milk
- 85g caster sugar
- 225g raspberries
- icing sugar, for dusting
Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface to 3–4mm thick. Sprinkle evenly with the leaves from the lemon thyme sprig, then roll flat with the rolling pin. Keeping the pastry herb-side up, use to line a deep 20cm loose-bottomed tart tin, then trim off the excess. Chill for 30 minutes.
Heat the oven to 180°C/Gas Mark 4.
Line the pastry case with aluminium foil, draping it over the edges a little, and fill it with baking beans or rice. Bake blind for 15 minutes, then remove from the oven and leave to stand for 5 minutes. Lift out the foil with the beans or rice and return the pastry case to the oven for 5 minutes or until it has started to colour slightly.
Using a spatula, mix the ricotta with the flour, lemon zest and egg yolks, then add the milk and mix to a smooth, creamy paste. Put the egg whites in a clean bowl, start whisking, then gradually add the caster sugar and whisk to a soft-peaked meringue. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold the meringue into the ricotta mixture.
Pour the mixture into the pastry case and spread evenly with a palette knife or the back of a spoon. Arrange the raspberries on top.
Bake at 180°C/Gas Mark 4 for 10 minutes, then reduce the temperature to 150°C/Gas Mark 2 and bake for a further 20 minutes.The filling should have risen in the centre.
Gently remove from the oven (but do not turn the oven off) and leave for 15 minutes (this stops the filling from rising too much and cracking open, then collapsing). Return to the oven for a final 15 minutes.
Remove from the oven and leave to cool. Dust lightly with icing sugar before serving.