Fruition Farms Ricotta Cheesecake with Rhubarb Compote
The secret to this recipe is using the best-quality ricotta you can find, although fresh eggs and good butter also lend their part. The compote is optional but a delicious seasonal treat. Alternately, you can simply serve the cheesecake with fresh berries.
NILLA WAFER CRUST: Heat oven to 325°F. Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl and mix with a rubber spatula until thoroughly combined. Butter the bottom and sides of a 9-inch springform pan and spread the cookie mixture, pressing evenly around bottom of the pan. Wrap aluminum foil tightly around the bottom and sides of the pan. Set aside.
RICOTTA CHEESECAKE: In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with a paddle, beat the cream cheese until soft and slightly whipped in consistency. Add the ricotta and beat until combined, on low speed. Add the sugar, lemon juice, lemon zest, and seedy paste scraped from inside each vanilla bean. Beat until combined. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating until well incorporated. Using a rubber spatula, scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl to make sure all ingredients are well combined. Top the cookie crust in the pan with the cheesecake batter and place inside a large deep pan, such as a roasting pan. Pour boiling water into the large pan to a depth of 1 inch to create a water bath for the cheesecake. Bake for 1½ to 2 hours, or until set. Cool completely.
RHUBARB COMPOTE: Meanwhile, place the rhubarb and butter in a medium saucepan and cook over medium-low heat until the rhubarb is just tender. Add the sugar, salt, red wine, and vinegar, and cook until the rhubarb begins to break down. In a small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice and cornstarch to make a slurry, and add to the rhubarb mixture. Bring to a rapid boil, stirring, to thicken; remove from the heat. Transfer to a bowl and chill the compote.
TO SERVE: Release the cooled cheesecake from the pan and cut into serving portions. Garnish each slice with a spoonful of rhubarb compote. (Seidel also places a small chunk of honeycomb on the side, drizzles a red wine reduction on the plate and finishes the plate, with a generous sprinkling of his house-made pistachio granola.)
Recipe by Alex Seidel, owner of Fruition Restaurant, in Colorado
Written by Laurel Miller
Photography by Barry Gutierrez