Peach Ricotta Cheesecake with Pecan Crust
Perfect for warm weather gatherings, this simple gluten-free recipe provides that sweet richness you need in a dessert, without being too heavy or filling for a hot summer night.
3 tbsp melted butter
1 cup finely chopped pecans
1 tsp ground cardamom, divided
1 tbsp brown sugar
3 tbsp tapioca starch or gluten free flour, divided
6 fresh peaches, divided
1 ea 32 oz container whole-milk ricotta cheese
1 8-oz package cream cheese, room temp
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice, divided
zest of one lemon
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 tsp pure almond extract
¼ tsp sea salt
fresh mint for garnish (optional)
Transfer ricotta cheese to a cheesecloth-lined colander, place in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Place in the refrigerator and allow to drain overnight.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and place a large pan of water on the bottom rack.
Start by making the crust by pulsing the pecans and brown sugar in a food processor until finely chopped. Transfer to a mixing bowl and add ½ teaspoon ground cardamom, 1 tablespoon of tapioca starch or gluten free flour and melted butter. Stir to combine. Set aside.
Transfer the drained ricotta cheese to a food processor. Wash, peel and pit one peach and add to the ricotta. Pulse for 30 seconds. Scrape down sides before adding cream cheese, granulated sugar, remaining tapioca starch or gluten free flour, and eggs. Pulse for 30 seconds. Scrape down sides and add 1 tablespoon of lemon juice, lemon zest, vanilla extract, almond extract, salt and remaining ½ teaspoon of cardamom. Puree until smooth, scraping down sides occasionally.
Prepare a 9-inch springform pan by spraying with non-stick pan spray. Transfer pecan crust mixture to the pan, spread evenly and press down with the back of a spoon. Fill with batter and place in the center rack of the oven, above the pan of water.
Bake for approximately 1 hour, or until top puffs up and begins to brown. Remove and place on a wire rack to cool. The cheesecake will settle slightly when it cools.
While cooling, wash and pit remaining peaches. Slice thinly and place in a bowl and toss with remaining tablespoon of fresh lemon juice to prevent browning.
To serve, top cheesecake with sliced peaches and garnish with fresh mint.
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