- 3 lbs Fierro whole milk ricotta cheese, drained
- 2 cups sugar
- 8 egg yolks
- 1⁄2cup all-purpose flour, sifted
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 8 egg whites
- 1⁄2cup heavy cream, whipped
- 1⁄2-1 tablespoon grated fresh lemon rind
- graham cracker crumbs
- confectioners' sugar, for lightly sprinkling over top of cooled cake (optional)
Preheat oven to 425°F.
Butter bottom and sides of a 12-inch springform pan.
Sprinkle bottom and sides of well buttered pan with Graham cracker crumbs.
In a large bowl, beat drained ricotta until very smooth.
Gradually add 1 1/2 cups sugar and egg yolks, beating after each addition.
Beat in flour, lemon rind, and vanilla.
In a small bowl, beat cream until cream holds its shape, but is not too stiff.
In a smaller bowl, beat egg whites with remaining sugar until stiff; combine with whipped cream and fold into ricotta mixture.
Pour mixture into prepared pan.
Bake for 10 minutes.
Lower oven temperature to 350°F and bake 1 hour.
Turn off heat and allow cake to cool in oven with door closed (about 3-4 hours).
Remove cooled cake from oven, carefully remove sides of pan, store cake (well wrapped) in refrigerator.
Before serving, lightly sprinkle top of cake with Confectioner's (powdered, 10X) sugar.
Cake may be served chilled or at room temperature
Note: Center of cheese cake will be lower than the sides when it is cooled. This is not a defect!
It is supposed to be this way (makes it easier to hold the topping if you choose to use one).
Top cheese cake with crushed sugared strawberries, blueberries, or cherries before serving.