Ricotta cheesecake? Well, yes of course. Ricotta PARMESAN cheesecake? Okay, now you’ve got my attention.
As soon as I saw the mention of parmesan in a (typically) incredibly sweet dessert, I knew I had to try it. By nature, parmesan is very crumbly in texture, so the thought of it in a creamy cheesecake both fascinated and excited me. What will it do? How will it taste? What about the texture? There were too many questions and only one answer – make these mini cheesecakes as soon as possible.
So, what did I find out in my savory-cheese dessert discovery?
First and foremost, I found that you must also make these cheesecakes as soon as possible. The parmesan is subtle and light and in no way overpowering, but still there reminding you of your adventurous dessert ways. Think of it as another version of salt in/on desserts. You want it.
The lemon and ricotta encourage the filling to be incredibly fresh and light, and since the jam on top is customizable to your liking, these bad boys can be appropriate for any and all seasons. I went with lemon curd and tangerine marmalade to embrace the coming summer months, and I fully plan on incorporating cherry jam when the holidays arrive.
Versatile. Light & fluffy. Not too sweet. A hint of salt. All made in one bowl. You can absolutely do this and most definitely should.
Note: Because I made these cheesecakes for a dinner party with my wonderful friend who happens to have celiac’s disease, I adapted my recipe slightly from this original version by M Y to be 100% gluten free. You can’t go wrong with either.
Mini Ricotta Parmesan Cheesecakes with Lemon Curd & Tangerine Marmalade
adapted slightly to be gluten free from M Y
One 7 oz. bag of Tate’s Bakeshop Gluten Free Ginger Zingers
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
7 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
3 tablespoons Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free All-Purpose Baking Flour
1 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup fresh parmesan, finely grated
30 oz. whole milk ricotta
Zest & juice of one whole lemon
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
4 large eggs
1/2 to 1 cup of jam of your choice, for topping
(I used Just Jan’s Lemon Curd & Tangerine Marmalade)
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line 10 cups of a muffin pan with liners and lightly grease. Set aside.
- Break the cookies into pieces and process in a food processor until you get a very fine crumb.
Note: The candied ginger in the cookies took a good bit of processing to breakdown to the size of the cookie crumb.
- Add the salt and process 10-15 seconds to fully incorporate into the cookie crumbs.
- If possible, keep your food processor running and drizzle in the butter just long enough for the mixture to clump together.
Note: My food processor is small and does not have the option to keep it running while adding ingredients, but drizzling the butter evenly on top of the crumbs and quickly processing it to incorporate worked just fine for me.
- Scoop the crust mixture by tablespoon into the prepared muffin cups. If you end up with extra, evenly distribute to those cups in need. Using your fingers or the back of a spoon, press the mixture down firmly and evenly into each cup.
- Place the muffin pan in the fridge to cool down while you prepare the filling.
- In a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, combine the flour, sugar, salt, and Parmesan. Mix on low speed to help break down the Parmesan.
Note: Because I have a smaller food processor, I used my stand mixer with the paddle attachment for steps 7-9. The texture is more reminiscent of ricotta versus a smooth cheesecake, but either way will give you a delicious result.
- Add the ricotta, lemon zest, lemon juice, and both extracts to the flour mixture. Mix on medium-low speed until very smooth.
- With your stand mixer running on the lowest speed, add your eggs one at a time, fully incorporating each time.
- Remove your muffin pan from the fridge and use a muffin scoop to spoon the mixture onto your prepared crusts. The cheesecakes barely rise, so don’t be afraid of getting too close to the top of your pan.
- Bake at 375 degrees for 20 minutes, until the edges are firm, but the centers slightly wiggle when you shake the pan. Turn your oven off and prop it slightly open. Let the cheesecakes sit for 45 minutes to an hour in your cooling oven.
- Remove the pan from the oven and let cool completely until room temperature. Place cheesecakes in the fridge for at least 2 hours, or overnight.
- Right before you’re ready to serve, top with your favorite jam and enjoy!