Ricotta cheesecake with end-of-summer fruit

AT A GLANCE

  • Serves 10 - 12 people

Make the most of the last sun-filled fruit of the season. Mixed with Marsala, it's the crowning glory of this baked cheesecake, a grand finale for an Italianate meal.

  • 1 kg firm ricotta
  • 500 gm cream cheese, softened
  • 250 gm caster sugar
  • 3 eggs, plus 1 yolk
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1½ tbsp plain flour
  • Scraped seeds from 1 vanilla bean
  • Finely grated rind of 1 orange and 1 lemon
  •  
  • Marsala pasta frolla
  • 150 gm (1 cup) plain flour
  • 50 gm caster sugar
  • 100 gm chilled butter, coarsely chopped
  • 2 egg yolks, lightly beaten
  • 1 tbsp Marsala
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Finely grated rind of 1 orange
  •  
  • End-of-summer fruit
  • 250 ml Marsala
  • 100 gm caster sugar
  • 60 ml (¼ cup) orange juice
  • 6 (mixed) plums, nectarines and peaches, cut into wedges
01   For Marsala pasta frolla, pulse flour, sugar and 1 tsp fine sea salt flakes in a food processor to combine, then add butter and pulse to just combine (there should still be small pieces of butter visible). Beat together egg yolks, Marsala, vanilla and rind, add to processor and pulse to combine. Turn out onto a lightly floured work surface and bring together with the heel of your hand. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate to rest (1 hour).
02   Preheat oven to 180C. Roll pastry out on a lightly floured surface to 5mm thick, then line the base of a 22cm springform tin buttered and lined on the base with baking paper. Blind-bake until golden and crisp (10-12 minutes), then remove paper and weights.
03   Meanwhile, process ricotta in a food processor until smooth. Scrape down sides, add cream cheese and process to combine, then add sugar, eggs, yolk, honey, flour, vanilla seeds and rind and process until smooth.
04   Reduce oven to 160C. Pour filling onto the pastry base and bake until golden with a slight wobble in the middle (50 minutes to 1 hour). Cool and refrigerate until set.
05   For late-summer fruit, combine Marsala, sugar and orange juice in a small saucepan, stir over medium heat until sugar dissolves, then simmer until mixture has a syrup consistency (15-20 minutes). Cool slightly, then combine in a large bowl with the fruit. Set aside to macerate for 30 minutes. Serve ricotta cheesecake topped with the late-summer fruit and syrup.
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