Ricotta Cheese Cake with Lemon Zest and Honey! Light and Delicious!

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My grandmother used to make a Farmer’s cheese or cottage cheesecake when I was growing up.

It was her “not fancy”, always good with a cup of coffee, cake.

I have yet to try these versions but decided to start first with ricotta cheese since that was what I had in my fridge!

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This cake was wonderful and whipping the egg whites makes it especially light and delicious.

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Lemon zest or even lavender is a lovely flavor note.

I plan to experiment with herbs and other flavors such as almond, orange or even rose.

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I used a 9 inch spring form pan for this recipe.

I also used Nilla Wafers with pecans and butter for the crust.

I ballparked the amount for the 9 inch pan.

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Ingredients:

6 Large eggs
2/3 cups sugar
2 tspn vanilla
2 15 oz containers whole milk ricotta cheese
2 tspn grated lemon zest

Method:

Preheat oven to 325 fahrenheit

seperate eggs

place yolks in mixer

and sugar and vanilla to yolks in mixer

Add ricotta cheese and zest and mix for 30 seconds

Beat egg whites until stiff

fold into the ricotta cheese mixture

pour mixture into greased pan

Bake until golden, approximately 1 hour and 20 minutes.

Let cool at least 6 hours before serving

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I serve this was honey!

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Manicotti with Ricotta and Herbs

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When everyone feels like nesting and eating light I love having these stuffed manicotti on hand in the freezer.

Believe it or not these really can be light and full of protein.

I use organic ricotta cheese and organic eggs.

The real secret is to separate the eggs and whip the whites and fold them into the ricotta, Italian shredded cheeses, herbs and heavy cream mixture.

I aslo add herbs. Sometime just what is on hand. Fresh parsley is perfect. Also, fresh basil and fresh oregano.

For the sauce, it can be anything you like. A red sauce always works well but I have been experimenting and like a light parmesan cheese sauce with a little butter and lemon whisked in.

I would also suggest sauteeing some exotic mushrooms in tarragon and serving them on top for a gorgeous presentation.

But you can get creative with any ragu or chutney you like. You can even skip the cheese filling and fill them with mushrooms and whisk together an olive oil, lemon and herb sauce.

Once you get the noodle down the field is wide open and you have an easy, freezable delicacy at your fingertips.

But it all starts with the “noodle”. Really a crepe which is light and fluffy.

Ingredients

6 eggs at room temperature

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour

1/4 tsp salt

1 cup milk

1/2 cup water

Mix and let stand for 1/2 hour before cooking.

Method

Pour 1/4 cup batter in a hot omlette pan, swirl to coat evenly

Flip and cook the other side.

Fill with your favorite stuffing, roll, bake and serve or freeze for later.

Tip: Line the bottom of your freezer dish with parchment paper so that you can easily remove the manicotti. You’ll want to bake them with some liquid on the bottom of your baking dish whether that is a red sauce, white sauce, etc. If you want to bake them with out the sauce then leave the parchment paper in the baking dish while baking.

These can go from freezer to 350 degree oven and bake for about 30-40 minutes covered.
I freeze mine in a Pyrex dish covered with foil for ease and simplicity.

This does take some practice. Good luck

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