That miniature cheesecake pan I have has begun to taunt me from my kitchen.
Reminding me that my previous reasons for not making cheesecake, namely my drive to avoid having an entire huge cheesecake in my fridge, is now void.
Small, adorable cheesecakes and the ability to "test" a recipe without having to deal with an entire HUGE cheesecake.
And I had an unsightly amount of homemade ricotta after deciding that I should not just make one batch, but I really needed to make two because it was so much better than anything I have ever bought in the grocery store.
All willpower was lost once I remembered the blood oranges I had.
And then I began to wonder how that delicious sour cream topping, that you are sometimes lucky enough to find on top of a cheesecake, would taste if you made it with ricotta.
Then I decided that it needed the crunch of a bruleed sugar crust on top.
I really just don’t know when to stop.
Bruleed Blood Orange and Ricotta Miniature Cheesecakes
I used the Chicago Metallics Miniature Cheesecake pan, and this recipe made 12. You can also use a standard muffin tin lined with cupcake papers, this recipe will make about 6. If you want to make a standard sized cheesecake in a spring-form pan, I would suggest that you triple the recipe.
4 standard sized graham crackers (about 3/4 cup crushed)
2 tbs brown sugar
3 tbs melted butter
8 oz cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup ricotta
1/2 cup sugar
1 tbs orange zest
1/4 cup freshly squeezed blood orange juice
1/3 cup ricotta
1/3 cup powdered sugar
1/4 tsp vanilla
Plus 2 tbs granulated sugar for the brulee crust
Preheat oven to 375.
In a food processor, add the graham crackers and brown sugar, process until nothing is left but crumbs. Add the butter and process until it resembles wet sand, adding more butter or graham crackers if necessary to achieve the right consistency.
Place metal disks into place in the bottom of each slot. Spray with butter flavored cooking spray.
Place about 1 tbs of crust into the bottom each Cheesecake slot. Press very well into place until compacted.
Place the cream cheese and ricotta in the bowl of a stand mixer and beat on high until well combined. Add 1/2 cup granulated sugar beat on high until creamed. Add the egg, orange juice, and zest and beat until well combined, scraping the bottom of the bowl to make sure all ingredients are well combined.
Spoon the batter on top of the crust, filling the cheesecake slots until 3/4 of the way full.
Bake at 375 for 12-15 minutes or until the cheesecakes no longer giggle in the middle when the rack is shaken. This is not a situation where "a tooth pick inserted in the middle comes out clean."
Allow to cool for 20 minutes before attempting to remove from pan.
Once cool, press upward in the hole on the bottom of the pan. Disk should remove easily.
Once the cheesecakes cool, they will sink in the center, this is normal.
In a small bowl, mix the ricotta, powdered sugar and vanilla until well combined.
Top each cheesecake with enough ricotta mixture to fill to hole in the center until level.
Chill until ready to serve, at least on hour.
Just prior to serving, sprinkle an even layer of granulated sugar over each cheesecake.
Slowly pass a kitchen torch over the sugar until it melts into a liquid and becomes a golden brown.
Be careful, sugar burns are super nasty and hurt like a mother.
Don’t brulee the sugar until just prior to serving, the sugar will start to turn to liquid after about an hour.