Recipe: Strawberry Ricotta Cheesecake with Macerated Strawberries

Strawberries are so plentiful on the Sunshine Coast currently that they are almost giving them away. Last Sunday at the Noosa Farmers Market I paid just $6 for 3 x 500g punnets! When strawberries are this inexpensive, I am busy making strawberry jam, strawberry daiquiris, strawberry muffins, and one of my favourite desserts – Strawberry Ricotta Cheesecake with Macerated Strawberries.  This light and luscious cheesecake is not too sweet, and because it doesn’t have a biscuit base like many cheesecakes it is lesser in calories (you could use low-fat ricotta for an even lower fat option). It’s also gluten free if you use gluten-free cornflour.  If you’re serving a wine with it, a Late Harvest Riesling is a good match. Enjoy!

Ingredients (serves 8):
1 x 250g punnet strawberries, washed and hulled
850g fresh ricotta (use low fat ricotta for a low-fat option)
1/3 cup caster sugar
3 tablespoons cornflour
4 eggs, lightly beaten

Macerated Strawberries
2 x 250g punnets strawberries, washed, hulled and halved (or quartered if very large)
3 tablespoons orange flavoured liqueur (Grand Marnier or Cointreau)
3 tablespoons caster sugar
To garnish: icing sugar

22cm spring form cake pan, greased and bottom lined with baking paper
Food processor

Method (15 minutes prep + 45 minutes cooking time):
1. Preheat the oven to 170°C.
2. Place 1 punnet of the washed and hulled strawberries in a food processor and process until pureed. Add the ricotta, sugar and cornflour and process to combine. Slowly add the lightly beaten eggs through the feed tube and process until the mixture is smooth.
3. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Place in the pre-heated oven and bake for 45-50 minutes until the top is golden and a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean.
4. Turn off the oven, leaving the cheesecake in the oven to cool with the door slightly ajar (this prevents the cheesecake from cracking). When cool, cover with plastic food wrap and refrigerate.
5. For the Macerated Strawberries: Toss the strawberries with the liqueur and sugar. Cover with plastic food wrap and leave to macerate in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours and up to 8 hours.
6. To serve, place the cheesecake on a plate or cake stand, dust with sifted icing sugar, slice and serve with the Macerated Strawberries.

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