The annual wine harvest ended five days ago with many bunches of Sangiovese grapes filling the crates at our vineyards. It was a plentiful harvest and while we’re waiting for nature to do its job and transform that delicious must into an expression of our wine region, we decided to bring autumn to the table in all its scents and colours. Cheesecake, not an overly sweet dessert, seemed perfect for a seasonal topping. We used red seedless grapes but if you have Isabella grapes, you can use them, just remove the seeds before cooking.
Cheesecake Topped With Red Grapes
Ingredients for a springform pan ø 16cm
For the crust
150g digestive biscuits
40g melted butter
1/2 teaspoon acacia honey
pinch of cinnamon powder
For the filling
200g cream cheese
150g fresh cow’s ricotta
20g greek yogurt
zest of ½ an organic lemon
seeds from ½ a vanilla pod
2 fresh eggs
1/2 teaspoon of plain flour
For the topping
350g of seedless red grapes
Crush the biscuits and add the cinnamon, honey and melted butter. Mix well with a spoon. Transfer to the springform pan lined with baking paper and smooth to create the cheesecake base. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
Sieve the ricotta cheese, add the cream cheese, sugar, lemon zest, vanilla seeds and yoghurt and gently combine with a wooden spoon. Add one egg at a time, mixing well between additions, and finally stir in the flour.
Pour the filling over the biscuit base and bake in a preheated 160°C oven for 50 minutes. Open the oven door for the last 5 minutes to let the steam escape.
Remove the cheesecake and cool for 4 hours at room temperature. Transfer to the fridge and cool for a further 3 hours.
Place the grapes in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook for about 10 minutes, stirring often and crushing the grapes with a spoon to release the juices, continue cooking until the juices thicken slightly. Leave to cool. Before serving, finish the cheesecake with the grape topping.
Recipe & photos @saramilletti