Executive chef Erin Clarke of Casa Luca in Washington D.C. makes an authentic Italian torta di ricotta that blows all others out of the water. Seasonal Rainier cherries and Corbezzolo bitter honey pair for a wonderfully balanced bite that may have you wondering if your last cheesecake may have been a little too sweet.
“This isn’t a typical American-style or New York cheesecake,” says Clarke. “The recipe calls for Rainier cherries for their delicate sweetness, Corbezzolo honey for its unique bitterness, and sheep’s milk ricotta for its grassy notes, but feel free to make substitutions if these specific ingredients are not available. Thick slices of this cheesecake topped with luscious cherry compote make an elegant and not-too-sweet dessert, but I think it’s perfect for brunch instead of the usual pancake or waffle.”
- 1 1/2 pounds Rainier cherries, stemmed and pitted
- 1/2 cup Luxardo cherry liqueur
- 1/4 cup Corbezzolo honey
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 1 Orange, juiced and zested
- 2 lemons, juiced and zested
- 1 tablespoon flour
- 3 1/3 tablespoons almonds
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 tablespoon cold butter, cubed
- 1 1/2 cups sheep's milk ricotta
- 1/2 cup mascarpone
- 5 tablespoons sugar
- 3 whole eggs
- 2 yolks
- 2 tablespoons flour, sifted
- 3 lemons, zested and juiced
For the compote
Combine all ingredients in a medium saucepot and bring to a simmer.
Reduce heat and continue to cook until the compote coats the back of a spoon.
Remove bay leaves and allow to cool.
For the almond crumble
Pulse all ingredients in a food processor until combined.
For the cheesecake
In a standing mixer, combine the sugar and the yolks using the whisk attachment.
Whisk on high until light peaks form, approximately 5 minutes.
Add the ricotta, mascarpone and lemon zest.
Whisk on high until all ingredients are incorporated.
Add flour and continue whisking on low for 1 minute.
Spoon/spread the batter into the loaf pan lined with parchment paper and baking spray.
Spread the crumble on top.
Bake at 275˚F for one hour.
Remove from the oven and set on a cooling rack.
Cool completely before removing from the pan.
Slice and serve with a generous spoonful of the cooled cherry compote.