December 22, 2013
Her name was Anna. A most beautiful Anna, sturdy around the hips. freckled arms so big and strong. I loved her the moment I met her. Her eyesight was failing then, but you would never know it really. She was a force in the kitchen and I loved to watch her prepare and serve her specialties influenced by her Sicilian heritage. Weeks before she passed away she could no longer eat, for me this was the most tragic. I think of Anna quite often. She made a version of this lovely cheesecake every year in a large 9 X 13 glassbake dish. I never did get her recipe for this cake, but I so wanted to create it this year as it has been so very long since I tasted Anna’s cake.
This recipe is close, it is a lovely and light cheesecake, not at all smooth. It has a rustic texture with a background of custard and pineapple. Decadent and delicious to finish off a holiday meal or a meal of any sort really.
2 lbs Ricotta Cheese (I used part skim)
1/2 Cup Sugar
1/3 Cup Flour (I used my gluten free mix)
6 Extra Large Eggs
20 oz Crushed Pineapple (you can use fresh or canned) – drained well
1 tsp Lemon Zest
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
Pinch Kosher Salt
Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
Spray or grease an 8 1/2 inch Springform Pan
In a large mixing bowl, place your ricotta cheese, sugar and flour. Mix thoroughly. Crack and drop eggs into this mixture and mix again with large spatula to incorporate the eggs. Blend in the drained pineapple, lemon zest, vanilla and salt.
Pour mixture into your prepared springform pan.
Bake at 300 degrees for 1 1/2 hours. Check the center of the cheesecake by jiggling the pan, mine was very loose in the center.
Raise the temperature to 325 degrees and cook for an additional 15 or 20 minutes, checking at 15 to see if the center has become firm. The top should be seeing color now too. At 20 minutes you should be able to remove and place cake on a wire rack to cool.
Let cool completely and place in the fridge until ready to serve.