Brûléed Blood Orange Ricotta Cheesecake

Photography by Matt Armendariz / Recipe Development and Food Styling by Marian Cooper Cairns

This extra-creamy, silky-smooth cheesecake packs a double dose of our favorite red citrus. Blood orange juice lends tangy berry notes to the ricotta filling, and brûléed blood oranges on top create a smoky caramelized flavor. For more ways with blood oranges, pick up a copy of our 2019 January/February issue!

Brûléed Blood Orange Ricotta Cheesecake
Makes 1 (9-inch) cake
  • 24 gingersnap cookies (173 grams)
  • 1 cup (121 grams) roasted salted shelled pistachios
  • ½ teaspoon (1.5 grams) kosher salt
  • 6 tablespoons (84 grams) unsalted butter, melted
  • 16 ounces (455 grams) cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 cup (200 grams) granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons (24 grams) cornstarch
  • 1 (12-ounce) package (340 grams) ricotta cheese*, room temperature
  • ½ cup (80 grams) heavy whipping cream, room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon (3 grams) blood orange zest
  • 1 tablespoon (15 grams) fresh blood orange juice
  • 1½ teaspoons (6 grams) vanilla extract
  • 4 large eggs (200 grams), room temperature
  • 1 large egg yolk (19 grams), room temperature
  • 3 to 4 small blood oranges (393 to 524 grams)
  • ¼ cup (50 grams) turbinado sugar
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Lightly grease the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan.
  2. In the work bowl of a food processor, place gingersnaps, pistachios, and salt; process until finely ground. Add melted butter, pulsing until combined. Press crumb mixture into bottom and halfway up sides of prepared pan.
  3. Bake until set, about 8 minutes. Let cool for 15 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 325°F (170°C).
  4. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat cream cheese at medium-low speed until very creamy and smooth, stopping to scrape sides of bowl as needed.
  5. In a small bowl, whisk together granulated sugar and cornstarch. Add sugar mixture and ricotta to cream cheese, beating until smooth. Beat in cream, blood orange zest and juice, and vanilla. Add eggs and egg yolk, one at a time, beating just until incorporated and yellow disappears, stopping to scrape sides of bowl as needed. Pour filling into prepared crust.
  6. Bake until set around the edges but slightly jiggly in center, 55 to 60 minutes. Turn oven off, and leave cheesecake in oven with door closed until completely cooled, 3 to 4 hours. Remove from oven, and refrigerate overnight.
  7. Using a sharp paring knife, slice off both ends of blood oranges. Stand oranges upright, and remove just the peel, cutting from top to bottom. Slice oranges into 1⁄4- to 1⁄2-inch rounds. Arrange on a baking sheet. Cover and refrigerate.
  8. Just before serving, sprinkle orange rounds with turbinado sugar. Using a kitchen torch, melt sugar until caramelized and browned in spots. Arrange on cheesecake, and serve immediately.
*We used Bellwether Farms.

Pro Tips
Two secrets to a crack-free cheesecake: First, have all your ingredients at room temperature. Second, don’t rush to chill your cheesecake; let it cool slowly and completely before placing in the refrigerator. A chilled cheesecake can be frozen up to 1 month, if desired.
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