Alberto Guadagnini has been making this easy, rich no-bake cheesecake for years. In Italy, they call regular cream cheese “Philadelphia” cheese.
1 cup cookie crumbs (such as vanilla wafers), or graham cracker crumbs
1¼ cups sugar, divided
¼ cup melted butter
1 pound ricotta cheese
1 pound mascarpone cheese
1 pound cream cheese
2 pounds strawberries , hulled
½ cup sugar
2 teaspoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
additional strawberries and mint sprigs, optional garnish
1. Prepare the cheesecake. In a medium bowl, combine cookie crumbs, 1/8 cup of the sugar, and the melted butter. Mix well, then press into the bottom of an 8-inch round cake pan.
2. In a large bowl, use an electric mixer on medium speed to blend ricotta, mascarpone, and cream cheeses with remaining 1 1/8 cups sugar. Pour into pan on top of the crumb crust. Refrigerate until firm, several hours or overnight.
3. Prepare the strawberry sauce. Add strawberries, sugar, cornstarch, and lemon juice to a medium saucepan. Heat over medium-low heat; stir gently until sugar dissolves and berries are soft, about 10 minutes. Let cool to room temperature, then chill until ready to serve.
4. To serve, slice cheesecake and place on dessert plates. Top with a spoonful of sauce and a sliced fresh strawberry and mint sprig, if desired.
Makes 10 to 12 servings
Photograph by Lisë Stern