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Nov 23, 2010 07:05 PM

How do I replace cream cheese with ricotta in a cheesecake recipe?

I was wondering if anyone has advice in how to convert cheesecake recipes from cream cheese cheesecakes to ricotta cheese cheesecakes. I know, I know, to some using anything but cream cheese is a sin against god (especially since I'm from New York, horrors!), but ricotta is easier on my stomach, and I actually prefer the taste *gasp*.

For example there's this plain ricotta cheesecake recipe that I really enjoy:

3/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 pounds fresh whole-milk ricotta cheese
6 large eggs, separated
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt

How would I turn that into a pumpkin version? Could I just replace the cream cheese in the following recipe with ricotta?

4 packages (8 ounces each) bar cream cheese, very soft
1 1/4 cups sugar
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup canned pumpkin puree
2 tablespoons pumpkin-pie spice
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 large eggs, room temperature

I've seen lots of different flavors of cheesecake out there using cream cheese, but not many variations using ricotta. How do I make the change? Or how can I introduce pumpkin (or chocolate for that matter) flavor into a ricotta cheesecake recipe?

Thanks so much for your help!

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  1. When I make ricotta cheesecake, I just sub the ricotta for the cream cheese. You should drain the ricotta very well because it holds more moisture than the cream cheese. I'd use 5 to 6 large eggs instead of the four called for in the pumpkin recipe. Mix in your pumpkin once you add the cheese into the mixture. To add chocolate, just melt your chocolate & cool before adding to the cheese mixture. Depending on what percentage of the cacao in your chocolate, you may want to increase your sugar.

    1. ricotta cheesecake isn't always 100% ricotta like the recipe you posted. sometimes a blend of ricotta and cream cheese...if you want mostly ricotta, do about 3 parts ricotta to 1 part cream cheese. that should make it easier for you to modify existing recipes.

      these might give you some other points of reference:

      for the pumpkin, you could either add pumpkin puree and spices to the first recipe, or replace 16-20 ounces of the cream cheese with ricotta in the second recipe.

      or try one of these with a blend of ricotta & cream cheese:

      and here's one with all ricotta:

      for chocolate:

      1. To me, cheesecake is sort of like Mac N Cheese.

        Short of some tried and true methods (e.g. beat and incorporate ingredients slowly, graham cracker crust, etc.), there are no "must-do's" or "right" way to make cheesecake.

        If you want to do a chocolate ricotta cheesecake, I would simply suggest you simply start by using equal parts ricotta, cream cheese and pumpkin (or chocolate) into your filling mixture. When I say equal parts, I mean by weight.