Baked Ricotta Cheesecake with Cinnamon Poached Plum
250g cream cheese, at room temperature, cubed
1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest
1½ teaspoons natural vanilla essence or extract
110g (½ cup) caster sugar
500g fresh ricotta, drained
2 eggs, at room temperature, lightly whisked
60ml (¼ cup) pouring cream
100g plain or wholemeal sweet biscuits
60g butter, melted
CINNAMON POACHED PLUMS
220g (1 cup) caster sugar
180ml (¾ cup) water
2 cinnamon sticks
6 medium plums (about 120g each), pitted and each cut into 6 wedges
Preheat oven to 160°C. Line the base of a 21cm (base measurement) springform tin with non-stick baking paper. Brush the side of the tin with a little of the melted butter to grease.
Put the biscuits in a food processor and process until finely crushed. Add the butter and process until well combined. Sprinkle the crumb mixture over the base of the tin and then use the back of a metal spoon or the base of a glass to press down to cover evenly. Put the tin on a baking tray and place in the fridge.
Put the cream cheese, lemon zest and vanilla in a clean food processor bowl and process until smooth, scraping down the side and base of the bowl when necessary. Add the sugar and ricotta and process until smooth and well combined. With the motor running gradually add the eggs and then the cream and process until smooth. Pour into the tin over the biscuit base.
Bake for 1 hour or until the cheesecake is just set but the centre still trembles slightly when the tin is shaken gently. Turn off the oven, leave the door ajar and cool the cheesecake in the oven for 1 hour (this helps prevent the top of the cheesecake from cracking). Transfer the cheesecake to the fridge and chill for at least 3 hours or until well chilled before serving.
Meanwhile to make the Cinnamon Poached Plums, combine the sugar, water and cinnamon sticks in a medium saucepan and stir over medium heat until the sugar dissolves. Bring to a simmer. Add the plum wedges and simmer gently for 5 minutes or until the plums are just tender when tested with a skewer. Remove from heat and transfer the plums and their syrup to a heatproof container or bowl. Cool for 10-15 minutes before placing in the fridge to chill.
Remove the cheesecake from the tin, cut into wedges and serve with the poached plums and their syrup.