Farmer's Cheesecake with Strawberries

For this elegant, no-bake cheesecake, Nicolaus Balla ferments his own farmer’s cheese (a kind of cottage cheese). Ricotta mixed with cream cheese makes a delicious substitute for the filling, which is incredibly light, delicately sweet and wonderful inside the crumbly graham cracker crust.

Recipe from Food & Wine America's Greatest New Cooks
  • Active:
  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 8

Ingredients

crust
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups packed graham cracker crumbs (10 to 12 whole crackers)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Pinch of ground ginger
  • Pinch of cinnamon
filling
  • 1 pound fresh ricotta cheese, at room temperature
  • 1/2 pound cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 3 tablespoons agave nectar
  • 1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Pinch of ground ginger
toppings
  • 1 pint strawberries, hulled and sliced 1/4 inch thick
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons caraway seeds
  • 1/2 cup honey

How to make this recipe

  1. make the crust

    In a small saucepan, melt the butter with the sugar over moderately low heat, stirring, until the sugar dissolves, about 4 minutes. In a medium bowl, mix the graham cracker crumbs with the salt, ginger and cinnamon. Stir in the melted butter until the crumbs are evenly moistened. Press the crumbs evenly over the bottom and up the side of a 9-inch fluted tart pan. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until well chilled, about 1 hour.

  2. make the filling

    In a large bowl, using a handheld electric mixer, beat the ricotta with the cream cheese, agave nectar, lemon zest, lemon juice, salt and ginger just until smooth. Using a spatula, spread the filling in the chilled crust. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until well chilled, about 2 hours.

  3. meanwhile, prepare the toppings

    In a medium bowl, toss the strawberries with the sugar and lemon juice. Let stand at room temperature, stirring once or twice, until the berries are juicy and slightly softened, about 30 minutes.

  4. meanwhile, prepare the toppings

    In a small saucepan, toast the caraway seeds over moderate heat until fragrant, about 1 minute. Transfer to a mortar and lightly crush the seeds. Return the caraway seeds to the saucepan and add the honey. Warm the honey over moderately low heat for 10 minutes. Strain the honey into a bowl, discarding the seeds; let cool.

  5. meanwhile, prepare the toppings

    Cut the cheesecake into wedges, top with the strawberries and caraway honey and serve.

Make Ahead

The cheesecake can be refrigerated for up to 2 days. The honey can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 month.

Contributed By Photo © Christina Holmes

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497590 recipes/farmers-cheesecake-strawberries 2013-12-06T23:25:21+00:00 Nicolaus Balla spring|summer|baking|easter|mothers-day|cakes-and-cupcakes|desserts|8|make-ahead|web-exclusive recipes,farmers-cheesecake-strawberries 497590

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