Barbara Pruitt of Finksburg requested a Baltimore cheesecake "like the one Muhly's Bakery used to make." She said, "It was a thin cheesecake and had a pastry crust. I think it had ricotta as well as cream cheese and currants."
Her answer came from Jennifer A. Macek of Towson, who wrote: "Attached is a recipe for ricotta cheesecake, which may be what Barbara Pruitt is looking for. I am not familiar with the cheesecake that Ms. Pruitt apparently used to purchase from Muhly's Bakery. Hopefully, this is similar."
Serves 12 to 16
10 tablespoons sifted all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons sugar
6 tablespoons sweet butter
1 3/4 pounds ricotta cheese
1/4 pound (4 ounces) cream cheese
1/4 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
grated rind of half a lemon
5 whole eggs, well beaten
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup currants (lightly floured)
powered sugar for dusting
Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Lightly oil the bottom of a 10-inch springform pan that is 3 inches tall. Mix flour, egg, sugar and butter to make a dough. Roll out on a floured board to 1/4 -inch thickness. Bake crust in bottom of pan for about 15 minutes. Cool.
Drain ricotta for 15 minutes in metal strainer; discard liquids. Place all ingredients except currants and powdered sugar in a large bowl and mix well. Then add currants.
Pour onto cooled crust in springform pan and bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour at 325 degrees. Turn off oven and let cheesecake sit for 1/2 hour until set. Remove from oven. When entirely cooled, remove from pan and dust with powdered sugar.
Tester Laura Reiley's comments: "This is a dense, delicious, very attractive Italian-inspired cheesecake with an unusual flaky pastry crust.
"Follow the directions exactly: Flouring the currants allows them to be suspended throughout the cheesecake and not simply fall to the bottom. Allowing the cheesecake to sit in the cooling oven minimizes a great shift in temperature, which in cheesecakes can cause unattractive surface cracking.
"Be sure that when you turn the oven off, the cheesecake is not too jiggly in the middle. It should be relatively firm at the point when you turn the oven off."
Eloise Rose of Newton Grove, N.C., wrote requesting a recipe that she said she had while "I was visiting my grandson who was stationed at the Marine base in Yuma, Ariz. We ate at a place called Jean Cantonese and they brought out a platter of fried rice that had bean sprouts, shrimp and more. My grandson said they had the best rice in town. I'd be so appreciative if you could get a recipe for me."
Zoe Joyce Orth of Sonoma, Calif., writes that she has been searching for a French wine cake recipe. "I used to buy the cake from a bakery in San Mateo, Calif. Sure would appreciate help."
If you are looking for a recipe or can answer a request for a hard-to-find recipe, write to Ellen Hawks, Recipe Finder, The Sun, 501 N. Calvert St., Baltimore, MD 21278.
If you send more than one recipe, please put each on a separate sheet of paper with your name, address and daytime phone number. Important: Please list the ingredients in order of use, and note the number of servings each recipe makes.
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