Ricotta and cream cheese give this cheesecake a rustic, and creamy, twist. A toasted almond crust with a candied citrus topping provides a tart and sugary accent. Serve with orange sorbet to tie all the flavors together. —Jim Kennedy
Preheat oven to 350º. Place rack in middle of oven. Butter and flour a 9-inch springform pan.
For the Crust
Toast almonds for 10 minutes, cool. Turn oven to 325º.
In food processor, chop almonds and sugar until fine. Add salt, pulse several times. In a separate bowl, add egg yolk, butter and vanilla, whisk together.
Add butter mixture to nuts and pulse until small clumps form.
Place mixture in springform pan. Spread with fingers until the bottom is covered. Tamp down with the bottom of a water glass, starting in the middle and moving outwards. Refrigerate for 15 minutes.
Bake crust in oven for 10 minutes, or until toasted. Cool on wire rack.
For the Citrus Filling
In food processor, combine sugar and citrus zest. Pulse until combined. Transfer to stand mixing bowl.
Add cream cheese and salt. With paddle attachment, beat on medium speed until smooth. Add ricotta and mix until you reach the desired consistency. For a grainier texture, one minute. For a smoother filling, 3-4 minutes.
Add egg yolks, one at a time. Beat in vanilla, corn starch, Grand Marnier, and lemon juice. Remove to large bowl.
Whip the 4 egg whites in a separate mixing bowl until stiff peaks form. Add 1/4 of mixture to filling, folding until combined. Add remaining egg whites, gently fold together.
Bake for 1 hour 15 minutes, rotating after 20 minutes. Check after one hour to see if filling has set. Cheesecake will be done when it is golden brown on top, and has started to separate from the sides of the pan.
Cool on wire rack. Refrigerate for 4 hours. Top with powdered sugar and candied citrus that has been rolled in cane sugar.