Baked Ricotta Cheesecake with Figs

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sonya gellert’s baked ricotta cheesecake is the perfect desert for all occasions.

Cheesecakes are loved all over the world, but this baked ricotta version from Julia Ostro’s cookbook, Ostro, is especially delicious. Its beautiful flavour and texture is sensational with seasonal orchard fruits.

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Ingredients Pinch of sea salt 80g unsalted butter, melted 500g ricotta 250g cream cheese, softened 120m lcream 4 eggs 2/3 cup (150g) caster sugar 40g plain flour 1 vanilla bean, split 1 lemon, rind finely grated Toasted walnuts, to decorate
Brown sugar spiced biscuits 50g chilled unsalted butter, cut into pieces 2/3 cup (100g) plain flour, sifted 50g brown sugar 1/2 tsp baking powder 1/2 tsp ground ginger 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon 1/2 tsp ground cardamom 1/2 tsp allspice Pinch of sea salt 1 egg, lightly whisked 1–2 tbs milk (optional)
Roasted grapes and figs 1.5 tbs honey 1 tbs extra virgin olive oil 250g red or black grapes 350g (about 5) figs, halved
Ricotta topping 200g ricotta 100ml cream 1/2 lemon, rind finely grated 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon 1 tbs caster sugar
Step 1 To make the brown sugar spiced biscuits, preheat oven to 180°C and line 2 baking trays with baking paper. Rub the butter into the flour until the mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs. Add the sugar, baking powder, ginger, cinnamon, cardamom, allspice and salt. Add the egg and mix until the dough comes together (add a little milk if necessary). Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface until 4mm thick. Cut into 4cm squares and arrange on the lined trays. Reroll any scraps and repeat. Bake for 12–15 mins or until golden. Set aside on the trays to cool completely.
Step 2 Reduce oven to 170°C. Grease and line a 23cm springform pan with baking paper. Process the biscuits in a food processor until finely crushed (a few slightly larger bits are fine). Transfer to a bowl with the salt. Stir in the melted butter until well combined and the mixture holds together when squeezed – if it’s too crumbly, add a little extra melted butter. Press the biscuit mixture firmly and evenly into the base of the prepared pan.
Step 3 Whisk the ricotta, cream cheese, eggs, sugar, flour and vanilla seeds in a clean bowl until smooth. Pour over the biscuit base. Bake for 45–50 mins until just set. Set aside to cool completely. Place in the fridge for 3 hours or overnight to chill.
Step 4 Meanwhile, to make the roasted grapes and figs, preheat oven to 180°C. Combine the honey and olive oil in a small bowl. Place the grapes in an ovenproof dish. Drizzle with the honey mixture. Roast for 15 mins or until the grapes are just starting to blister. Add the figs to the dish and roast for a further 5 mins. Set aside to cool completely.
Step 5 To make the ricotta topping, whisk the ricotta, cream, lemon rind, cinnamon and sugar in a bowl until smooth.
Step 6 Spread the ricotta topping over the chilled cheesecake. Arrange the roasted fruits on top and sprinkle with walnuts.

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