Thursday, April 16, 2009

Marian Antoinette DeCicco's cheesecake

Guess what?! I lost 20 lbs!! So let's celebrate, and make a cheesecake, y'all! I know, my last post was my Easter pie, but I had some left over ricotta and Lord knows, you never let good ricotta go to waste. So, I figured I'd get the cheesecake thing out of my system, and then move on to losing my next, and final, 20 lbs before my weight loss challenge ends.

Funny name for a cheesecake, huh? I just couldn't think of any other name for it, so, since the recipe came from mom, moms name (maiden) to it I gave. She's going to kill me. She hates her middle name. I think it was her baptismal name, or something like that... she never uses it. She won't be reading this probably for a few weeks or so, so I'm safe for the time being. I love picking on my mom...

Marian Antoinette DeCicco's cheesecake

Pasta Frolla (Pastry Crust)

2 c flour
1/2 c sugar
pinch salt
1/4 c unsalted butter
3 egg yolks
1 Tbs (or more, if too thick) milk

Sift flour, salt, and sugar into a large bowl. Cut in butter with a pastry blender or fork, until the mixture resembles small peas or crumbs. Stir in the yolks, one at a time, until well blended. Add milk, and mix with spoon (or hands) until dough pulls away from sides of bowl, adding more milk if necessary. On a lightly floured surface, knead dough till smooth. Roll out dough on a lightly floured surface, thin and large enough to fit the bottom and sides of a 12" spring form pan.

Cheesecake filling

2 lbs ricotta (I used Polly-O), WELL DRAINED
2 -8 oz pkgs cream cheese
2 c sugar
1/2 c sifted flour
8 egg yolks
grated zest of 1 lemon
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 c heavy cream, whipped
8 egg whites

Beat ricotta and cream cheese in a large bowl until smooth. Gradually add 1-1/2 cups of the sugar, and egg yolks, beating after each addition. Beat in the sifted flour, lemon zest, and vanilla.

Beat the egg whites in a separate bowl with the remaining 1/2 c of sugar, until slightly stiff peaks form. Fold the beaten heavy cream into the egg whites, and then fold into the ricotta mixture.

Pour the batter into the pastry crust- lined spring form pan. Bake at 425 degrees for 10 minutes, and then lower oven temperature to 350 degrees, and bake for 1 hour. Turn off heat, and let cheesecake cool, in oven, undisturbed, for at least 2 hours.

Prior to serving, lightly sprinkle with powdered sugar.

***The whole idea of letting it cool in the oven is so that the top of your cheesecake doesn't collapse, like mine did, by cooling down gradually in the oven. I only have one oven, as do most, and needed to bake other things that evening. So I sacrificed a pretty and smooth cheesecake top by letting it cool outside the oven- but it does not affect the taste. I still think it looks kind of pretty, cracks and all...

Oh, and mom, you know I love you, right..?

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Eleonora Baldwin said...

Thank you for this great cheesecake and CONGRATULATIONS on the -20lbs!!! Brava, I wish I had your same determination.

Norah said...

Congratulations on the 20lbs!! The cheesecake looks yummy.

Julia from Dozen Flours said...

I think you found your 20 lbs - it's right there in that cheesecake. It must weight at least that much, right? It looks like a monster!!

Sadly, I can't get Polly-O here in Seattle. One time many years ago I was in Whole Foods and found some and literally cried tears of joy like a darn fool. I was so excited to see it here, but then they stopped carrying it for some reason.

I've never had a cheesecake that was made with ricotta but I think I might have to try this one. Looks so yummy.

(And seriously, could you image how kick-butt our bakery would be? I wish we lived closer too!)

Sara said...

Congratulations on the weight loss! This cheesecake looks like it's worth the calories :)

The Food Hunter said...

I'll be over tonight at 7 for a piece or two of that cheesecake :-)
Congratulations on the 20lbs. I think I gained 20 just drooling over that cake.

Stacey Snacks said...

You know this is my favorite dessert of all time.
I have never made it w/ cream cheese before. Sometimes I don't even make the pasta frolla, I cheat and use the sprinform pan only and add candied orange or citron.
Yours is the best looking one I have seen ever!
20 lbs!!! wow! (I lost 8! 2 more to go!). xxoo

RecipeGirl said...

Ha Ha, I would celebrate with cheesecake too!! Congratulations!! MONDAY I'm going on another big time venture... would like to lose 10 before summer. 2 months to go so maybe it's possible.

Proud Italian Cook said...

MDD cheesecake looks out of this world! Congrats on your big weight loss!

Man of Roma said...

I just love cheese cakes. I confess I used to adore the German cheese cakes better, the famous (at least to me) Kaese Cuchen one finds in Bavaria or in Tirol. But yours seems really yummy plus I'm sure it's much lighter than the German counterpart.
This thing about losing weight ... isn't it more a woman's thing? Men like women with something on, not just bones lol

Claudia said...

Wow - 20 pounds - yay for you! I haven't been able to do it. And what a gorgeous cheesecake. have bookmarked it.

Peter M said...

Congrats...that's some accomplishment...let's eat cake! This is stunning and I want two wedges.

Jamie said...

Sounds so good! I say lose weight but treat yourself goooood every now and then. This is beautiful as is your mom's middle name.

BTW - now, whenever my mom calls, I answer the phone and, no hello, she says "So I was a terrible cook?" Oops! I know then that she has been looking at my blog.

Chef Chuck said...

Nice cheesecake,Yumm !!