University of Illinois Extension

Mom’s Ricotta Cheesecake

2 heaping C graham cracker crumbs, made from calcium-fortified graham crackers
6 T Vitamin D fortified margarine, melted
2 lb reduced-fat ricotta cheese, drained
4 large fortified eggs, separated
¾ C sugar
¼ C rum
1 T all-purpose flour
grated zest of one lemon
2 tsp vanilla
1/8 tsp salt
½ C raisins (optional)

Set oven rack to lower middle position and preheat oven to 325º.
Brush the bottom of a spring form pan with margarine. Combine graham cracker crumbs and remaining margarine in a small bowl, reserving a bit of margarine to brush on the sides of the pan. Press crumb mixture into the bottom of the pan. Bake until fragrant and beginning to brown, about 13 minutes.
Brush sides of pan with reserved margarine and set crust aside to cool.

Using an electric mixer or food processor, beat or process ricotta until smooth. Add egg yolks, sugar, rum, flour, lemon zest, salt and vanilla. Beat or process until well-blended, about  minute.

In a clean bowl, beat the egg whites on high speed until stiff peaks form. Gently fold egg whites into ricotta mixture. Pour into cooled crust.

Bake until lightly browned, about 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until an instead-read thermometer registers 150º. The edges of the cake should be firm and the center should be almost set. Cool for about 5 minutes. Run a knife around the edges to loosen cake. Cool at room temperature for 2 ½ to 3 hours, then refrigerate for at least 5 hours and up to 2 days.

To serve, unmold cake from pan. Let sit at room temperature for approximately 30 minutes, then cut into wedges and serve.

Tip: a prepared graham cracker crust can be used (no spring form pan to deal with) and the eggs can be beaten in without separating them. The cake will not be as fluffy, but still tasty

Nutritional Information: Servings: 12, Amount/Serving: Calories 331, Total Fat 18g, Sat. Fat 7g, Cholesterol 106mg, Sodium 284mg, Total carbohydrates 30g, Sugars 24g, Dietary Fiber <1g, Protein 11g, Calcium 420mg, Vitamin D ~40 IU