Delicious ricotta-pear cheesecake admits to torturing and keeping many a heart in captivity
By 11, something in me gets triggered. It's this irresistible urge to sneak into the kitchen and get something going. It's always the warmth that fills up the kitchen by sunrise that keeps me in there at midnight, smashing up biscuits and creaming up the cheese filling. That is my me time. Only that I have a lot of invisible elves around to help. Sounds like something out of a Brothers Grimm? Very likely.
So this particular night, I wrote an ode to a lovely fruit called the pear. Pears, I feel are so much more deserving of gentle affection and care, they are so deserving of every single lick around your lips. They are reminiscent of classic renaissance paintings, probably because you see so much of pear in them. But why do you think that in a market stall brimming with apples and pears, the apple baskets are quick to go out, and the unassuming pear still awaits for someone to take it home and bite into its juicy flesh? I have never understood such vague mysteries of the universe.
This is a Bosc, I was told when I bought them. I am not convinced yet. Could this pear be a love child of the Bosc and the Anjou, I wondered as I sliced them super thin. I licked off the juices that had dribbled all over my fingers. I may have bitten into a pear.
Ricotta cheesecakes come with this beautiful texture so essential to a cheesecake; I think texture is everything in cheesecakes. So I find myself baking cheesecake with ricotta cheese very often. Before the cheese goes in, I place it in a fine-meshed strainer and keep it to drain for some time. This will make the batter less watery, and more creamy. For the base, I used some butter cookies. "Some?" You may ask. Ball parking isn't an evil, but it is also not the ideal way to measure ingredients while baking. By now, I am less concerned about baking a cheesecake with crust. So my plan is to ideally omit the habit of making a crust going ahead. You can see in the pictures that I went in for the extra thin base.
Also, it depends on how much of a cheese devouring monster I am that night. If I don't want a biscuit base interfering with my cheesecake experience, I decide how many biscuits or graham crackers will be beaten to death that night. That's just luck.
So, about 500 grams of cream cheese and around 250 grams of ricotta cheese go in for the filling. Cream it up with a cup and half of sugar. The amount of sugar depends on how sweet you like it. I would say a cup and half is perfect for a cake of this size. Three eggs go in, and you will need to mix in one after the other. Two tablespoons of all purpose flour and two tablespoons of corn flour will be next; these are for stability. I'd advise you to add the eggs towards the end of it and mix only little after the eggs go in, only incorporating them into the batter and not beating it up. A tablespoon of lemon juice, the zest of a lemon, and a teaspoon of pure vanilla extract will be added in next. Place a few of the peeled slices of pear on the biscuit base. While pouring the batter into the pan, after filling half way up, place the rest of the pear slices and then fill it up.
Regardless of whether you are addicted to cheesecake or how much addicted you are, this ricotta pear cheesecake has only one mission in mind. To torture your hearts for more of the cheesecake, even when you know you are so full of it. Try and see if you still have control over the reins to your heart after a slice. I bet you won't. And it's not your fault.
Here's your cheesy cheesecake song: Earth Wind & Fire : Fantasy. Another one of my favourites.