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    Ricotta Cheesecakes with Baked Cherries

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    Ricotta Cheesecakes with Baked Cherries

    • Preparation time: 30 minutes, plus overnight standing
    • Cooking time: 30 minutes for cheesecakes, 30-35 minutes for cherries
    • Total time: 1 hour 35 minutes, plus overnight standing 25 minutes

    Makes: 6

    Ingredients

    • Cheesecake
    • 225g ricotta cheese
    • 30g icing sugar
    • 1 lemon, juiced and zest finely grated
    • 1 small egg
    • 1 egg yolk
    • 150ml double cream
    • Crust
    • 1/2 Lemon, zest finely grated
    • 75g butter
    • 115g digestive biscuits, crushed
    • 1/2 lemon, zest finely grated
    • Topping
    • 350g fresh cherries
    • 2 tbsp clear honey
    • 1/2 orange, juiced and zest finely grated
    • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary

    Method

    1. Preheat the oven to 150°C/gas mark 2. Line 6 holes of a large muffin tray with large paper cases.
    2. To make the crust, melt the butter and leave to stand for 5 minutes while the solids sink. Mix the biscuit crumbs with the lemon rind then pour in the butter, leaving behind the milky sediment. Stir well and allow to cool slightly. Press the biscuit into the bases of the paper cases, making it about 1cm thick. Chill until required.
    3. For the filling, beat the ricotta with the icing sugar, lemon rind and juice. Gradually whisk in the egg and yolk. In a separate bowl, whisk the double cream until very thick peaks form, then fold into the ricotta. Spoon this mix into the cases, bringing it right to the top and levelling it.
    4. Bake the cheesecakes for exactly 30 minutes. Don't open the oven, switch it off and leave until quite cold - or overnight. The cakes should be perfectly set. Chill until required. For the topping, preheat the oven to 200°C/gas mark 6. Wash the cherries and discard the stalks from 3/4 of them. Stone them (if you don't have a stoner, hold the cherry on a board, press the stone down with a skewer, and lift the cherry - the stone will slip through). Do not stone the reserved cherries, and leave the stalks intact.
    5. Put all the cherries in a roasting tin, mixed with the honey, orange rind and juice and rosemary. Roast for 30-35 minutes until tender. The juices should be quite thick. Leave until completely cold. Discard the rosemary.
    6. Spoon the cherries and juices over the cheesecakes, ensuring 2-3 cherries with stalks are on each cake. Serve at room temperature.

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