It’s strawberry season, and this season is a particularly good one so I thought it was about time I shared this delectable Strawberry Ricotta Cheesecake recipe.  I created this recipe a number of years ago and it is still one of my favourite desserts. It is always a big hit in my cooking classes, and my students are amazed that not only is it gluten free but low fat!   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, and for a gluten free dessert make sure you use gluten-free cornflour.  If you’re serving a wine with it, a Late Harvest Riesling is a good match. Enjoy!

Strawberry Ricotta Cheesecake

Ingredients for Strawberry Ricotta Cheesecake (serves 8):

Cheesecake
1 x 250g punnet strawberries, washed and hulled
850g fresh ricotta
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

Equipment:
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 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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