100 grams butter, preferably unsalted
¼ cup icing sugar
1 egg yolk
1 cup flour
300 gram pottle ricotta cheese
½ cup cream or mascarpone
grated rind and juice of 2 lemons
6 tablespoons caster sugar
1 teaspoon orange blossom water
3 eggs, separated
icing sugar for decoration
1. Place the softened butter and icing sugar into a bowl and blend together with your fingertips or a wooden spoon until the sugar has dissolved. Add the egg yolk.
2. Sift the flour and salt together and work into the butter mixture, only until the dough comes together. Turn out on to a lightly floured board and knead only a few times until the dough is smooth. If you overwork the dough it will become tough when it cooks. Wrap and stand in a cool place for 10 minutes.
3. Roll the pastry out to a 24cm circle and place on a baking tray. Bake at 190ºC for 15 minutes until the pastry base is golden. Remove from the oven and cut a 23cm circle out of the pastry and slice it carefully into the base of a 23cm loose bottom shallow cake tin.
4. In a food processor blend together the ricotta cheese, cream, lemon rind and juice, sugar and orange blossom water.
5. In a clean bowl beat the egg whites until they form stiff peaks that are still glossy and not dry (see Cook's Tip). Spread the egg white mixture over the top of the cream in the food processor and pulse until blended in. Do not process on full power as you will knock out all the air. Pulse only to fold.
6. Pour filling over the base and level off. Bake at 190ºC for 30-35 minutes. Cool the cheesecake in the tin. Dust with icing sugar to serve.
This simple baked cheesecake flavoured with citrus and orange blossom water makes a delightful dessert for any occasion. Fresh baked cheesecakes should be served cool at room temperature and should never be refrigerated as they become solid and tasteless.