Baked Lemon Aspen Ricotta Cheesecake with Roasted Grapes and Figs

"I am very fond of a baked cheesecake, especially when it’s filled with ricotta and topped with roasted fruits. While I know it’s tempting to eat the cheesecake as soon as it cools, it really does benefit from a good stint in the fridge before serving. Smoothing a layer of cream over the cooled cheesecake hides any cracks or bumps on top of the cake" - Julia Busuttil. Ostro by Julia Busuttil Nishimura, Published by Plum, Photography credit Armelle Habib

We found this gorgeous cheesecake recipe from Julia Busuttil Nishimura and thought we'd try it. It is one of the creamiest baked cheesecakes we have ever made - and of course, we made it our own native food style by adding Lemon Aspen Superfruit Powder to the mix. We roasted the grapes but didn't have figs , so roasted some persimmons instead, with a little Pepperberry and honey over them and our cake looked very much like the one in the picture. So good!

And the beautiful Lemon Aspen flavour was just right - a delicate lemony flavour throughout but with that certain incredible difference one gets when using native ingredients - something almost indefinable.

INGREDIENTS

500g fresh full-fat ricotta
250g cream cheese, softened
120 ml pure cream
4 eggs
150g (2⁄3 cup) caster sugar
40g plain our
1 1/2 tablespoons (12g) Lemon Aspen Superfruit Powder
250g crushed biscuits for base (we like using Spiced Cinnamon Biscuits , Ginger Nuts or Butternut Snaps)

80g melted butter

    ROASTED GRAPES AND FIGS (or other fruit such as peaches or persimmons)

    1 1⁄2 tablespoons honey
    1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
    250 g red or black grapes
    about 5 figs (350 g in total), cut in half

    CREAM TOPPING

    120ml cream, whisked 

       

      Preheat oven to 175C

      Prepare a springform cake ring by cutting a circle of baking paper the diameter of the base and laying on the base of the cake ring.

      Crush the biscuits, and mix with the melted butter. Add a little extra butter if needed to make the biscuit mix form a firm ball. Spread firmly and evenly on to the base of the prepared cake tin. Refrigerate while you prepare the filling.

      To make the cheesecake, whisk the cheeses, pure cream and the sugar together until well mixed. 

      Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well each time. The mix will look quite runny , but don't be alarmed, this is how it should be - with some little lumps of ricotta here and there.

      Finally whisk in the flour and the Lemon Aspen Superfruit Powder and pour over the biscuit base.

      Bake in the preheated oven for 45–50 minutes until just set. Allow to cool completely before removing from the tin. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours, preferably overnight.

      Meanwhile, to make the roasted grapes and figs, preheat the oven to 180°C. Mix the honey and olive oil in a small bowl until combined.

      Place the grapes, preferably in just one or two bunches, in an ovenproof dish. Drizzle with the honey and olive oil and roast for 15 minutes or until the grapes are just starting to blister.

      Add the figs and continue to roast for 5 minutes. Set aside to cool completely. If using Persimmons you will need to roast them for 15 minutes

      Spread the cream topping over the chilled cheesecake, arrange the roasted fruits on top and scatter with walnuts, if desired.


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