Pizza Dolce | Recipe | Italian Cheesecake

Can you believe it's already March?!  I sure can't.  February was a whirl-wind kind of month.  I was back-and-forth between New York and Cleveland, then I spent some time baby-sitting my adorable twin nieces down South and lastly spent a week with Mr. Stranded in Mexico.  It was soooo nice trading the Cleveland snow for the warm sun and sandy beaches.  And now, back to reality...

I'm going to finish off my Christmas dessert recipes this week because I'm sick of blogging about Christmas and want to move on to something else.

I've already mentioned that desserts in my house growing up were completely pathetic.  Some fruit, nuts, a box of chocolates...big deal.  So I can't say that my family ever had any traditional Christmas desserts, unless you consider a persimmon dessert.  That's where I turned to Mr. Stranded and my mother-in-law for help.

My mother-in-law is the queen of simple, fast, delicious desserts.  She gave me a "Pizza Dolce" recipe, which essentially is an Italian cheesecake.  This is nothing like your traditional cheesecake.  For starters, it's made with ricotta cheese and is light and fluffy, not dense like cream cheese cheesecake.  I made a tweak or two, figured out how I wanted to decorate it for Christmas and voila!  We now have our very own traditional Christmas Italian cheesecake!

To make a pattern on your cheesecake, find a foam cut-out, in my case a snowflake.  Halfway through cooking time, place the foam on top of the cheesecake, sprinkle the uncovered areas with cinnamon and then carefully remove the foam shape.  The cinnamon will bake into the cake.

Italian Cheesecake "Pizza Dolce" Recipe
Yields: 9" round cake

1 1/2 lbs of ricotta
6 large eggs
2 c milk
1 c sugar
juice of 1/2 lemon
cinnamon to sprinkle on top

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. 
2.  Cream sugar and eggs until lemon colored.  Add the milk through lemon juice.  Mix slowly until well blended.  It will splatter.
3.  Place 9" round Springform cake pan on top of a backing sheet.  Pour mixture into the cake pan.  Some liquid will come out of the pan.  This is normal.
4.  Bake at 350 degrees F for about 30 minutes.  Remove cake from oven and carefully lay desired foam shape in the middle of the cake.  Sprinkle cheesecake with cinnamon.  Carefully remove the foam shape and return to oven and back for an additional 45 minutes or until firm. (See note above).
5.  Place cheesecake on a wire rack to cool.  Place on a plate and refrigerate until ready to serve.  Liquid will continue to leak from the pan.  This is normal.  Wehn ready to serve, remove from pan, place on a cake stand and serve.

MAKE-AHEAD TIP: Cheesecake can be made 2 days in advance and placed in the refrigerator or 1 month in advance and frozen.  Defrost before serving.


Adrienne Shubin said... [Reply]

Hi girlie! I have missed you. I was just thinking about you this morning.

Your cheesecake looks so tasty! Just looking at it is making me hungry for something rich and sweet.

So glad you and Mr. S got away together down in Mexico.
xo, Adrienne