- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup rice flour
- Pinch of salt
- 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons coarsely chopped dried fruit, such as cherries, apricots, figs and dates
- 6 ounces fresh Robiola cheese (see Note), without the rind, at room temperature
- 6 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped
- 2 large eggs
- 2 tablespoons sour cream
- 3 tablespoons apricot nectar
- 2 tablespoons sherry
- 1/2 teaspoon cornstarch
- Preheat the oven to 325°. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a medium bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the butter with the sugar and vanilla until smooth. Add the all-purpose flour, rice flour and salt and beat just until combined. Quickly beat in the dried fruit. Pat the dough in an even layer 1/4 inch thick on the parchment paper. Bake for about 30 minutes, or until the shortbread is barely golden. Transfer the baking sheet to a rack and let cool. Increase the oven temperature to 375°.
- Break the shortbread into small pieces and transfer to a food processor. Pulse until fine crumbs form.
- Generously butter a 9-inch nonstick springform pan. Press the crumbs evenly over the bottom and 1/3 inch up the side of the pan.
- In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the Robiola cheese with the cream cheese until smooth. Beat in the sugar and vanilla seeds, then add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating well between additions. Beat in the sour cream, apricot nectar and sherry until blended. Beat in the cornstarch.
- Pour the filling into the crust. Bake for about 15 minutes, then lower the oven temperature to 325° and bake for 15 minutes longer, until the center of the cake is still slightly jiggly. Transfer to a rack to cool, then refrigerate for at least 3 hours or overnight. Serve cold.
The cheesecake can be refrigerated for up to 2 days.
When buying Robiola cheese, be sure to choose a mild form, such as Osella or Bosina.
The dried fruit and apricot nectar in this cake will find an echo in a late-harvest New Zealand Riesling, which also won't overwhelm the fresh Robiola here.