Cheesecake with Ricotta and Lemon zest (with Enjoy Life gluten-free gingerbread cookies)

From alfredo sauce to pancakes to cheesecake, ricotta and lemon zest are wonderful combinations for both savory and sweet dishes. Ricotta adds a fluffy texture to balance the density of cream cheese, while lemon zest can be a refreshing addition to any creamy desserts.

Enjoy Life’s gluten free gingerbread cookies is a great substitute for graham cracker crust. This cheesecake was a huge hit at our board game night!

Inspired by Jenn Segal’s Once Upon a Chef

 

For the crust:

  • 1 6-ounce box Enjoy Life gluten free gingerbread cookies, finely crumbled
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 egg

For the filling:

  • 1 8-ounce package cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 32-ounce container (about 4 cups) whole milk ricotta
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon Orange liqueur (optional)

Optional toppings:

  • Crushed pecan, fudge, caramel, or fresh berries

 

Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly grease a springform cake pan.

For crust: mix the finely crumbled gingerbread cookies with melted butter, and egg. Spread into the pan, and press firmly to make a crust. Bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes until the crust is slightly darker. Let it cool.

For filling: mix cream cheese, sugar, salt and ricotta for 3 minutes. Add in eggs one at a time until all mixed, then add vanilla extract, cornstarch, lemon zest and orange liqueur, if using.

Pour the filling into the crust. Bake the cheesecake for about 50 minutes, until the top is lightly golden, and the center is slightly jiggly but not totally liquid. Let it cool for at least 4 hours.

Serve with topping if desired.

Roasted Carrots with Cumin and Mint

This is a great snack by itself, or can be served as a side dish. Some recipes serve these with plain yogurt seasoned with lime juice, zest, and mint chutney. I went with mashed potatoes and braised chicken. They are delicious!

 

  • 10 medium carrots, peeled
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, or 1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • ½ teaspoon coriander powder
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
  • Lime zest (optional)

 

Heat the oven at 400F.

Cut the carrots in half lengthwise and crosswise. Toss with olive oil, salt, pepper, thyme leaves, cumin seeds, coriander powder, and turmeric.

Roast for 25 minutes. Sprinkle with mint and lime zest. Enjoy!