Ainsley Harriott's Corsican Baked Cheesecake

Ainsley Harriott's light, gluten-free baked cheesecake is the perfect easy dessert to serve during the summer months with plenty of seasonal berries on the side.

Ainsley’s Mediterranean Cookbook
A journey through the diverse cuisines of the Mediterranean region.
With recipes ranging from Moroccan tagines to Italian desserts.
All laid out in Ainsley's clear, accessible, and foolproof style.

Introduction

This is a really easy, zesty gluten-free Corsican dessert that’s a cross between a flan and a baked cheesecake. On the island, they have a local liqueur called ‘myrtle eau de vie’, made from the berries of the myrtle shrub, which has a very distinct and slightly aromatic flavour. If you can find some, then do use it to add a unique flavour; otherwise, use limoncello for a delicate lemony treat.

Serves 6-8
Easy

Ingredients

butter or vegetable oil, for greasing
500g ricotta cheese (or brocciu/brousse cheese, if you can get it)
140g caster sugar
zest of 2 large unwaxed lemons
4 eggs
1 tbsp myrtle liqueur/ eau de vie, limoncello or grappa
mixed fresh berries, to serve

Essential kit

You will need: a 20-cm springform cake tin and an electric mixer or hand-held whisk.

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan/gas 4. Lightly grease a 20-cm springform cake tin and line the bottom with baking parchment.

Strain off any excess liquid from the ricotta by placing it in a sieve over a bowl for 20–30 minutes. Once strained, place the cheese in a mixing bowl and break it down using a fork. Add 40g of the sugar and the lemon zest and mix well.

In a separate bowl, use an electric mixer to whisk the eggs with the remaining sugar for 4–6 minutes until pale, fluffy and tripled in volume. Slowly add the egg mixture, a little at a time, to the ricotta mixture, gently folding it in, making sure to keep as much air in the mixture as possible. Do not over-mix. Add the liqueur and gently mix in.

Pour the mixture into the cake tin and bake for 40–45 minutes or until the top is lightly golden and set, but still with a very slight wobble. It will firm up as it cools. Leave to completely cool in the tin before turning out onto a serving plate, then chill before cutting into slices and serving with fresh berries.

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