At least for us it truly is! As I have been searching for the perfect birthday cake for my son, we've been observing birthday month, all month long, actually starting even last month. His very favorite cake lately has been Junior's cheesecake. Since I won't be back to NYC until late April, and I am not willing to pay their steep delivery fee, I scouted a best New York cheesecake recipe on squidoo that looked just wonderful (http://www.squidoo.com/bestcheesecakerecipe). It uses only cream cheese, but my favorite cheesecake is the German style made with quark. So here I have varied the ingredients, the quantities, and baking directions. This cake turned out perfectly to match both our tastes at the same time. It just might be the fresh ricotta that serves as our bridge here. For garnish, I have served this with our favorite warm Rote Grütze (made with raspberries and blueberries) and a dollop of sour cream with a rosemary sprig. —Sagegreen
one 9" cake
1 1/4 cups
crushed gluten free gingersnaps
light muscovado sugar
fresh ricotta cheese
1 1/2 cups
fine organic cane sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons
juice of 1/2 Meyer lemon
Meyer lemon zest
garnish with fruit preserves, creme fraiche, sour cream or herbal sprig
Melt the butter in a small pan. As it begins to brown, stir in the muscovado sugar until it dissolves. Pour this mix over the crushed gingersnaps. Mix up thoroughly. Then press into a 9" nonstick springform pan. Pop this in the freezer. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
In the mixing bowl place all the cheeses and sugar. Beat until velvety smooth. Add the heavy cream and continue to beat until incorporated. Add the arrowroot. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Slow the mixer down to its lowest setting. Add the eggs one at a time. Finally, pour in the lemon juice and vanilla. Toss in the zest. Mix until everything is as smooth as liquid silk.
Pour the batter into the pan with the chilled crust. Place this pan into a larger pan, which you next fill with warm water just so the bath comes about midway up the springform pan. Bake for 20 minutes at 350. Then turn down the temperature to 300 and bake for an hour. Turn off the oven at that point to leave the cheesecake undisturbed for 2 hours. Do not even open the oven door. Then remove and refrigerate. It will be ready to serve after it has chilled, hopefully with no cracks! Serve with a warm or chilled fruit preserve such as Rote Grütze (http://www.food52.com/recipes/6068_rote_grtze_or_red_grits_with_white_wine), lingonberries, creme fraiche or sour cream, and an herbal garnish such as rosemary, lavender, or mint.