Italian cheesecake recipe

Neil Perry
Italian cheesecake.
Italian cheesecake. 

When making the cheesecake, ensure you drain the ricotta by sitting it in a sieve (in the fridge) for an hour or two.


250g plain flour, sifted

35g castor sugar

pinch salt

100g butter, cut into small cubes

1 large egg, beaten with 1 tbsp milk

egg wash (1 egg, 1 tbsp milk), to glaze

For the filling

3 extra large eggs

180g castor sugar

250g cream cheese, softened

2 tsp vanilla extract

750g fresh ricotta, well-drained

1/4 cup rum

grated rind of 1 orange

grated rind of 1 lemon

icing sugar, for dusting


For the pastry, sift flour, sugar and salt into a food processor, add butter, and pulse until a crumb-like mixture forms. Pulse in egg-and-milk mix.

Transfer dough to a floured surface, using about two-thirds to form one ball, and the remainder to create another ball. Cling-wrap separately and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 160°C.

Grease a 20cm spring-form tin. On a floured surface, roll out the smaller dough ball to a 3mm thick round. Place in fridge for at least 30 minutes, or until firm.

Roll the bigger ball into another 3mm thick round, place in tin and crimp the edges.

When the first round of pastry is firm from fridge, cut it into strips about 1cm wide. Refrigerate both tin and strips until needed.

For the filling, whisk eggs and 90g sugar on high speed until pale and fluffy. In a separate bowl, combine cream cheese and the other 90g sugar on a medium speed. Mix in vanilla, then the ricotta, rum and rinds, then the egg mixture, until it starts to thicken.

Pour filling into pastry shell. Using the pastry strips, make a lattice-style pattern across the top. Brush pastry with the egg wash, and place tin in the centre of the oven.

Bake at 160°C for about one hour or until just cooked in the middle when tested with a skewer.

Cool on a rack, then slide from tin onto a plate, dust with icing sugar and serve.