Ricotta cheesecake with poached grapes
The grapes poached in moscato turn this into a special dinner party dessert. Ricotta cheese is made from whey. It is a low-fat cheese with a delicate, mild flavour and is best used within a couple of days. If you have only ever used packaged ricotta from the supermarket, you should try to search out some really fresh ricotta. You will certainly notice the difference.
Photo: Marina Oliphant
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- For the cake
- 750g fresh ricotta (buy in handy 375g tubs, or fresh from the deli)
- 1 cup sugar
- 4 egg yolks
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- ¼ cup thickened cream
- 4 egg whites
- grated rind of 1 lemon
- grated rind of 1 orange
- 2 tbsp softened butter
- 4 digestive biscuits, crushed (optional)
- For the grapes
- 1 large bunch seedless red grapes
- 1 cup moscato wine
- 1-2 tbsp muscovado sugar
For the cake
Preheat oven to 210C. Place ricotta and sugar in a large bowl and mix well.
Add egg yolks and vanilla and mix until smooth. Stir in cream.
Whip egg whites in a separate bowl until stiff peaks form. Fold gently into ricotta mixture along with lemon and orange rind.
Grease a 20cm round cake tin with butter and sprinkle with biscuit crumbs, if using. · Pour filling into tin and smooth surface with a spatula.
Place in oven and bake for 10 minutes, then reduce heat to 180C and cook for another 55 minutes, or until the cake is nicely browned on top and just set. Turn off oven and leave cake to cool completely in oven, if possible.
For the grapes
Wash the grapes and cut into smaller bunches. Put wine and sugar into a small non-stick pan and place over low heat. Stir to dissolve sugar. Add grapes, bring to the boil then reduce heat and simmer for about 15 minutes, until grapes are soft and syrup is slightly reduced.
Serve slices of cheesecake with the warm, poached grapes and syrup.