Happy birthday to me from Florence Italy! My husband took me on my first trip to Europe for my 52nd birthday, and on my actual birthday we took a cooking class and learned to make this delicious Lemon Ricotta Cheesecake!
(This post contains affiliate links. I may make a commission from sales but your price remains the same.)
When we came home, even before my jet lag ceased, I was missing Italy. That has never happened to me before. When we travel I am the first to want to go home and am always so happy to be home when I get there. But not this time. Italy has a place in my heart.
Florence is the capital of Tuscany and was the third stop on our trip. (Click links to see lovely Rome and Positano) Florence is an amazing city and it seems everywhere you turn there is something beautiful to see: statues, fountains, food, museums filled with spectacular works of art, gelato…even the people are beautiful. Florence is divided by the Arno river which creates some fantastic photo opportunities.
The day after we arrived was my birthday and Mother’s Day. My husband arranged for us to take a cooking class with the lovely Laura Franceschetti at Cooking In Florence. Laura has the most amazing old Italian home, what we would call a brownstone, three stories high with a beautifully updated kitchen that still maintains it’s old world charm. We made gnocchi, a zucchini and cheese side dish, a chicken main dish and finished with this birthday cake!
The Lemon Ricotta Cheesecake:
This is an authentic Italian Lemon Ricotta Cheesecake. Gorgeous isn’t it? And it’s made with almond meal instead of flour so it is naturally gluten free! We had a blast at this cooking class and the food was amazing!
The recipes we used in our class came from a traditional Italian cookbook called “Science in the Kitchen and the Art of Eating Well” (affiliate link). Laura has a print of this book published in 1891! You can find a new version in English here. The cake itself is made with ricotta cheese, lemon zest, eggs, sugar and almond flour. The batter is poured into a parchment lined springform pan and baked until firm. It’s very easy to make.
The Strawberry Coulis:
The coulis is made in about 30 seconds by placing berries, lemon juice and sugar in a blender and mixing until smooth! Then just pour over your cheesecake!
To say my birthday and Mother’s day were memorable is an understatement! After our cooking class and fabulous lunch we spent a few hours Skyping with our children from three different countries, Italy, Argentina and the good old USA. Be sure to come back next week when I will be sharing a recipe inspired by our stay in Montepulciano, Italy!
The Recipe: Lemon Ricotta Cheesecake with Strawberry Coulis (gluten free)
You will need: a springform pan, unbleached parchment paper and a almond meal. (affiliate links)
This recipe is an adaptation from an old Italian recipe for Torta Di Ricotta found in the cookbook Science in the Kitchen and the Art of Eating Well. All ingredients in Italy are measured by weight which is more accurate but I will offer American measurements too.
- 500 grams ricotta cheese (16 oz, full fat and strained of water)
- 130 grams sugar (2/3 cup)
- 150 grams almond meal (3/4 cup)
- 4 large whole eggs
- 4 large egg yolks
- zest of two large lemons
- 6 fresh or thawed frozen strawberries
- 50 grams sugar (about 1/4 cup)
- Juice of half a large lemon
- 1-2 Tablespoons water if needed to thin out coulis
Preheat oven to 350 and place rack in lower third of oven. Cut parchment paper so it covers the bottom and sides of a springform pan with an inch or so of hangover. Crumble paper and run under water. Ring out paper, grease with butter and place in springform pan. Set aside.
whisk together ricotta cheese and sugar.
add almond meal and eggs, whisk till smooth
add lemon zest and mix well
Pour in prepared pan. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until center of cake is set. If cake begins to brown, tent with foil. Allow to cool before removing from springform pan. Turn cake over and place on a serving dish. Cut into pie shapes and drizzle with strawberry coulis.
Place strawberries, sugar and lemon juice in a blender and blend till smooth. If needed add a 1-2 T water for thinning.
MAY I PLEASE ASK A FAVOR?
We small bloggers need all the help we can get. Subscribing and sharing on social media is very appreciated!
This is gorgeous 🙂 Happy birthday! And I am loving all the pictures of your trip!
Thank you Renee! It was a really good birthday…I mean if you have to get older it’s good to do it in Italy!
I wish I was back in Italy
Me too. Everyday.
I just returned from a 30 day trip to Europe and visited many of the same places and sites you experienced. I was searching and hoping to find a specific recipe, so It was really fun to stumble onto your website! While I was in Chianti, in the Tuscany region, Italy, our wine-tasting tour stopped at a very small little village for a brief layover between wine tastings. I had the most amazing cheesecake in that little village that I have ever had, and I’m thinking your lemon ricotta cheesecake recipe may be very close to what I had–not too sweet and a much lighter taste than what I’ve previously experienced. Looking forward to trying out your recipe!! Thank you.
Oh lucky you! Yes the cheesecake is really simple and much different than American cheesecake. I hope you love it!
I loved Florence so much. It’s going to be my jet lag stopover next time!
I loved it too! Such a beautiful city with so much to do.