Ricotta Cheesecake with Vino Cotto soaked Sultanas and scorched Red Grapes syrup
A simple Italian classical cheesecake with an amazing aroma.
60ml Vino cotto
1kg firm ricotta, or 4x250g tub fresh ricotta (placed in a colander overnight, in fridge) for a fluffy result
60gm pure icing sugar
1 orange, finely grated
1 lemon, finely grated
1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped
50gm freshly roasted hazelnut
220gm plain flour
60gm pure icing sugar
120gm cold butter cubed
1 lightly beaten egg
Scorched honey grape syrup
1/2 cup honey
¼ cup Vino Cotto
250gm seedless red grapes
To make hazelnut pastry.
Process hazelnuts in a food processor until coarsely chopped.
Add flour and sieved icing sugar and process to combine. Add butter and process until crumbs form and then add egg. Combine.
Lightly flour a surface area and gently knead the mixture, do not overwork the dough. Form into a disc shape and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate to rest (1 hour).
Preheat oven to 180C.
Line base of a the 23cm spring pan.
Roll pastry on a lightly floured surface to 4mm thick. Cut a 23cm-diameter round to fit into spring pan and gently ease into pan. Prick pastry with a fork and bake until crisp and golden (10-12 minutes).
Reduce oven to 160C.
For the ricotta filling.
Soak sultanas in Vino Cotto for 10 minutes in a glass bowl.
Place ricotta, mascarpone, eggs, honey, icing sugar, rinds and vanilla seeds in a food processor and process until smooth. Then gently stir through the soaked sultanas and any remaining juices.
Butter or oil the sides of the spring pan, this will help ease the cheesecake away for the pan.
Spoon the ricotta mixture over the cooked pastry base. Tap spring pan to remove any air bubbles and smooth the top with the back of a spoon.
Bake until lightly golden, approx 60 – 70 minutes. The centre of the cheesecake may seem a bit soft and ripple but it still will continue to set. Turn the oven off and leave the cheesecake in the oven for 30 minutes allowing it to cool down slowly as this should prevent the top from cracking.
Take cheesecake out of oven, remove from spring pan and leave at room temperature. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for a minimum of 5 hours or overnight to allow flavours to combine.
For scorched grapes syrup
Just prior to serving, simmer honey in a frying pan over medium-high heat until caramelised, swirling occasionally (3-4 minutes). Add Vino Cotto, swirl to combine, add grapes, cook until syrupy (5-7 minutes), cool to room temperature.
Transfer cold cheesecake to a serving plate and spoon over warm grape syrup.