With Lemon Curd Filling & Graham Cracker Crust
Using the Cheese Cake recipe from Pollio Ricotta & Mozzarella Recipe Book (c. 1950) as a base, I adapted it after researching a few other recipes to flesh out the instructions and ingredients. I also wanted to give them a bit more flare by incorporating Ina Garten's Lemon Curd.
Although I have not ventured in making a classic cheesecake yet, I will definitely be making these again. They are a great dessert during the warmer months since they are much lighter and fluffier than the rich and creamy version. So if you are around Easton, PA this week, hit me up so I can hook you up with a cupcake or two!
10 slices graham crackers, crumbled
⅓ cup unsalted butter, melted
⅔ cup granulated sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
4 large eggs, separated at room temperature
Two 15oz containers Pollio Grade A Part-Skim Ricotta, well drained
Zest of 1 lemon
Juice of ½ a lemon
½ cup heavy cream
¼ cup flour, sifted
Place an oven rack in the middle of the oven. Preheat the oven to 325°F. Line a cupcake pan with cupcake liners and set aside.
In a food processor, manually pulse the graham crackers until crumbled, but not dusty. Place in a mixing bowl and stir in the melted butter until well combined and all of the crumbles are wet. Place a tablespoon of graham cracker mixture at the bottom of each cupcake liner. Flatten with your fingers to cover the bottom of the liners. Set aside.
With a paper towel, remove any excess graham cracker crumbs from the food processor bowl and blade.
Separate the eggs, placing the whites in the bowl of standing mixer and the yolks in the food processor bowl.
Add the sugar and vanilla to the food processor and process on low until thick and yellow, about 1 minute. Add the ricotta and lemon zest and process until smooth, about 30 seconds. Transfer to a mixing bowl.
Beat the egg whites on high speed until they hold stiff peaks. Gradually fold the whites into the ricotta mixture and return to the bowl of the standing mixer.
On medium low speed, mix in the heavy cream and lemon juice. Gradually mix in the flour until well combined.
Fill each of the cupcake liners with a quarter cup of batter using a quarter cup measuring cup. Place a baking sheet on the oven rack and add two cups of water to it. Carefully place the cupcake pan in the water. Bake for about 45 minutes, checking on them every 15 minutes, until the tops are light golden brown. Transfer the cupcake pan to a wire cooling rack to cool completely. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for one 1 day before serving.