By “cowgirl,” I refer to both Indian girls who like cows and Cowgirl Creamery, in case you were wondering.
I acquired 3 lbs of ricotta from Cowgirl Creamery, which set me back a few paychecks. But all is good. The nice boys there waxed poetic on the virtues of using their Humboldt Fog (goat cheese) in a mysterious cheesecake recipe. I have yet to try it, but I digress.
As yesterday was Deepavali, an important holiday for many of the Doctors in this country, I decided to make an eggless version of the ricotta cheesecake so my family could enjoy this creamy treat.
I was inspired to go Indian with the cheesecake after a conversation with my dear brilliant friend who wrote me a note saying that she was going to make a rosewater pistachio cheesecake. Holy! What a brilliant idea! Cheesecake itself is surprisingly similar to Indian desserts with excessive use of milky-fatty-creamy-buttery-sugary ingredients. So why not add a little subcontinental whiff of yum?
Eggless Cowgirl Cheesecake Crust
- 1 cup crushed graham cracker (about 7 crackers)
- 1 cup roasted shelled pistachios
- 7 tbsp melted butter (or coconut oil if you want to minimize dairy. good luck with that. it’s a cheesecake recipe.)
- 2 tbsp brown sugar
- 2 tsp almond extract
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 4 cardamom pods
Put the graham crackers in a food processor and crush them (or pulverize them with your bare hands). Set aside. Put the pistachios in the food processor until the bits are pretty tiny but you can still tell it was pistachio. Open the cardamom pods and crush the seeds inside in a mortar. Mix all the ingredients together thoroughly.
Eggless Cowgirl Cheesecake Filling
- 1 lb ricotta
- 1 lb cream cheese
- 2 cups sour cream
- 3/4 cup honey
- 2 tbsp agave nectar
- Juice of 1/2 a small orange
- 1/3 cup cornstarch
- 3 tbsp flour
- 2 tbsp rosewater
- pinch of saffron
- 1 tsp vanilla (or seeds from one vanilla bean- prettier)
Make sure all the ingredients are room temperature (set everything out a couple of hours beforehand). Mix the ricotta and the cream cheese on low. Don’t mix too much, just until smooth. Mix in the cream cheese. Then the honey and agave nectar. Then toss in everything else and mix just enough.
Butter a 9″ or 10″ springform pan, bottom and sides, then line with parchment. Press the crust into the bottom, then pour the filling into the pan. Cook for 45 minutes until top is nicely browned. This is a deep cake! Mob deep! Put it in the fridge overnight, by the next morning you’ll have a deliciously sweet cake! The nice thing about it is that you can safely taste the batter for sweetness and adjust the amount of agave nectar to your liking. This version is on the sweet side.