The success of this cheesecake depends on a few important factors. First, the ricotta cheese must be fresh and creamy, and, if you’re using cream cheese, it must be fresh and not stabilized with gelatin. Second, you must use a light hand folding in the egg whites. And finally, please do not refrigerate the cake or it will lose its delicate and creamy texture forever. Any leftover cake may be stored overnight at room temperature. I prefer to serve this cake warm.
For the pastry, put the flour in a mixing bowl or in the bowl of a food processor. Cut or process in the butter with pulses until the mixture resembles coarse cornmeal. Mix the sugar, egg yolks, lemon zest, and Marsala and add it to the flour mixture. Gradually work it in with your fingers or pulse until well combined (the dough is too soft and rich to form a ball). Using about half the dough, press a very thin layer of dough over the bottom of a
Using the paddle on an electric mixer, beat the cheese in a mixer bowl until light and fluffy. Add the sugar and flour and beat until blended, then beat in the egg yolks, sour cream, vanilla, and lemon zest if using until fluffy. In a second mixer bowl, beat the 6 egg whites until soft peaks form. Stir a third of the whites into the cheese mixture, then fold in the remaining whites with the pine nuts and raisins with Marsala.
Pour the filling into the tart shell.
© 1998 Joyce Goldstein. All rights reserved.