Rao's Italian Cheesecake
If you've ever had Rao's Italian Cheesecake, no description is needed. If you're a first timer, it won't be the last... you'll be back... again... and again. :)
- 1/4 cup Italian bread crumbs
- 1 pound ricotta cheese
- 1 pound cream cheese
- 6 large eggs
- 1 3/4 cups sugar
- 2 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- 2 cups sour cream
Preheat oven to 300 F.
Lightly butter 9-inch springform pan and coat it with breadcrumbs, shaking off any excess.
Press the ricotta cheese through a fine sieve, combine it with cream cheese into the large bowl of an electric mixer. Beat on medium speed with the whisk attachment (not the paddle) for a total of five minutes, stopping several times to scrape the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula.
Add eggs, one at a time and beat until well incorporated (scrape the bowl if necessary). Add 1 1/4 cups of sugar (slowly), 2 teaspoons of vanilla and lemon zest and beat for an additional four minutes.
Pour the mixture into the pan. The pan should be 4/5 full. It may not be necessary to use all of the mixture. Bake for 50 minutes, decrease the temperature to 285 F and bake for another 30 minutes.
After the cake is put in the oven, beat (using the cleaned whisk attachment) together the sour cream and the remaining sugar and vanilla. Chill.
When baking time is finished, generously coat the top of the cake with the cold sour cream mixture. Reset the oven to 300 F and bake for another 10 minutes.
Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack.
When cool, remove the springform pan and refrigerate until ready to serve.