Italian Skillet Cheesecake

Cassola

Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Easy

  • Makes one 8 inch cake; serves

    6

Appears in

This is a beautifully light, not too sweet ricotta cheesecake, cooked by a unique method: baked in a skillet. It might be considered a direct descendant of the hearth-baked cheesecakes of ancient Rome.

For this recipe, you will need an 8-inch nonstick skillet with an ovenproof handle. (You can improvise with an 8-inch cake pan, if you handle it carefully.)

If at all possible, try this with freshly made ricotta, available at some cheese stores and Italian markets—its sweet milky flavor will surprise you.

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds ricotta cheese, preferably freshly made from whole milk
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 3 large eggs, well beaten
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • Confectioners’ sugar, for sprinkling
  • Fresh raspberries or strawberries, for serving

Method

  1. Place the ricotta in a large bowl. With a wooden spoon, beat in the sugar and cornstarch. Add the eggs and the egg yolk and mix until smooth.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Brush a heavy 8-inch nonstick skillet with an ovenproof handle with the olive oil. Preheat the pan for a few seconds on the stovetop over low heat. Spoon in the ricotta mixture in a smooth layer. Cook on the stovetop until the outer inch of the mixture is set and the bottom is lightly golden, 15 to 20 minutes.
  3. Place the pan in the oven and bake until the cheesecake is puffed and lightly golden, 10 to 15 minutes.
  4. Remove the pan from the oven and run the tip of a knife around the sides of the cheesecake; invert onto a serving plate. Cool to lukewarm on a wire rack. Sprinkle the cheesecake with confectioners’ sugar; serve in wedges, topped with ripe berries.