Fiadone (Corsican Cheesecake) with Chestnut Honey and Figs

Fiadone, a slightly sweet Corsican cheesecake, is traditionally made with brocciu, a fresh goat or sheep's milk cheese, which gives it a crumbly texture. In this recipe from pastry chef Shawn Gawle of March restaurant in Houston, the cheesecake is topped with chestnut honey, which pairs perfectly with sweet caramelized figs and candied lemon zest. June Rodil and Mark Sayre, who lead the wine program at March, like to pair 2016 Marco de Bartoli Vigna La Miccia Marsala Superiore Oro, Sicily, Italy, with this dish. "Marco de Bartoli's late-harvest wine still has good acidity, and the maple, fig, and baked-plum notes play nicely with the Fiadone," they say.

Fiadone (Corsican Cheesecake) with Chestnut Honey and Figs
Photo: Photo by Cedric Angeles / Prop Styling by Stephanie Bohn
Active Time:
50 mins
Total Time:
17 hrs 30 mins



  • 1 pound brocciu cheese or fresh sheep's milk ricotta cheese

  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, softened

  • 4 large eggs

  • 1 large egg yolk

  • 1 cup granulated sugar

  • 1 ½ tablespoons (3/4 ounce) brandy

  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest (from 2 lemons)

  • 1 tablespoon chestnut honey, plus more for drizzling

  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt

Candied Lemon Zest

  • 1 cup water

  • cup very thinly sliced lemon peel strips (no wider than 1/8 inch) (from 3 lemons)

  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice (from 1 lemon)

  • 2 teaspoons glucose syrup or agave syrup

  • ½ cup granulated sugar, divided

Additional Ingredients

  • 8 fresh figs (about 1 pound), halved lengthwise 


Make the fiadone:

  1. Place brocciu cheese in a colander lined with a layer of cheesecloth, and fold cheesecloth over cheese to cover. Place a saucer or small plate directly on top of cheese, and place a weight (such as a 28-ounce can) on plate. Place colander over a large bowl or a drain pan, and let cheese drain in refrigerator overnight (12 hours).

  2. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a 9-inch springform pan with some of the softened butter. Line bottom of pan with a 9-inch round of parchment paper cut to fit. Lightly butter parchment paper with remaining softened butter. Place pan in refrigerator until ready to use.

  3. Beat eggs and egg yolk with a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment on medium-high speed until pale and frothy, about 45 seconds. Slowly stream in sugar, beating until thickened, fluffy, and tripled in volume, 3 to 5 minutes.

  4. Remove colander from refrigerator. Remove strained cheese from colander, and transfer to a large bowl. Add brandy, lemon zest, chestnut honey, and salt to cheese in bowl, and whisk to combine. Gently fold beaten egg mixture into cheese mixture until smooth and emulsified. Pour mixture into prepared springform pan.

  5. Bake in preheated oven until sides of cheesecake pull away from pan slightly and there is a slight jiggle in cake center, 35 to 40 minutes. There should be light browning on the edges and some brown spotting throughout the top. Remove from oven. Let cheesecake cool in pan on a wire rack until slightly cooled, about 30 minutes. Cover cheesecake, and place in refrigerator until completely chilled, at least 4 hours or up to 24 hours.

Meanwhile, make the candied lemon zest:

  1. Combine 1 cup water, lemon peel strips, lemon juice, glucose syrup, and 1/4 cup sugar in a small pot. Bring to a simmer over medium. Simmer, undisturbed, until lemon peels are soft and translucent and liquid is almost evaporated, 25 to 30 minutes. Pour mixture through a fine wire-mesh strainer into a small heatproof bowl; discard strained syrup, and reserve strained peels. Transfer lemon peels to a shallow bowl. Add remaining 1/4 cup sugar, and toss until peels are evenly coated. Let dry and cool in sugar 10 minutes. Sift away and discard excess sugar.

  2. Heat a cast-iron skillet over medium-high until very hot. Place figs, cut side down, in skillet, and cook until figs are golden on cut sides, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove skillet from heat.

  3. Carefully release sides of springform pan. If desired, remove base from pan, and transfer fiadone to a platter. Using a clean knife, cut fiadone evenly into 8 slices, being sure to clean your knife in between slices with a damp cloth. Place 2 grilled fig halves on top of each fiadone slice or on the side of the slice. Drizzle fiadone slices with chestnut honey, and garnish with candied lemon zest.

Make Ahead

Candied lemon zest can be made up to 3 weeks in advance and stored in an airtight container at room temperature.


Brocciu cheese, made from a combination of goat or sheep's milk and whey, is a soft, fresh cheese popular on the island of Corsica. Find it at specialty cheese shops, or substitute fresh sheep's milk ricotta cheese, available at Italian grocery stores.

Suggested Pairing

Marco de Bartoli Vigna La Miccia Marsala Superiore Oro

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