I am a 22 year old girl from Split (Croatia) just graduated Baking and Pastry Arts Management at the Culinary Institute of America (NY) and truly living the sweetest dream!
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It is the time of the year when my heart is where it belongs. Coming home felt amazing and strange at the same time. I don't know if you ever experienced this kind of transition, but my life turned up side down after living 18 years here in Split.
Ohh Split...It's such a beautiful city and I really missed it! I really did! Seeing all those familiar places and dear people makes me smile :)
One thing I can tell you is that after all this time in NY, I realized and started appreciating who I am, and where I come from more then ever. Now.....After all this living and love, it's time for a dessert! ;)
One of the big benefits of living in Split is the beautiful Market we have available each day. The smell, appearance, and
taste of this fruit that we got is impeccable. That's one of the things I miss in the US, except when I get the chance to go to the farmers market. So now I just can't get enough of it!!
With all that beautiful fruit, I just had to incorporate it into one of the desserts I've been longing to make for my parents. None of us is a fan of the real NY style cheesecake, but when you do it with the ricotta cheese, it is much lighter. It goes beautifully with this apricot compote. Here is a recipe which I'm sure you're happy that I finally included it! ;)
Ricotta cheesecake with fresh apricot compote
For 4 souffle ramekins (4 oz or 113ml)
250g / 8.8oz cream cheese, room temp.
140g / 5oz ricotta cheese, room temp.
40g / 1.4oz sugar (If you're in the US you might need to increase this amount, because I noticed that sugar is less sweet there)
2 Tbsp lemon zest
Butter and flour the ramekins.
Preheat your oven at 180C / 350F
Paddle the ricotta cheese until smooth and blend in the cream cheese.
Add the sugar and zest and mix well. Make sure you scrape the bowl every so often!
Start adding the eggs gradually and paddle just until combined.
Place the ramekins into a baking dish, pour the filling in, and fill the baking dish with boiling water, half way the ramekin size. Bake for 30 minutes, just until firm to touch.
Once baked, take them out of the water and let them cool. Transfer them into the fridge overnight.
For the apricot compote, I just took some apricots, cut them into short strips (you can do it however you like!) and place them into a pot with some water and sugar. I used just a touch of it, in fact, I used fructose because my mum and I bought it the other day as a healthier alternative to regular sugar. I brought it up to a boil, left it for a minute or so and then took out 1/3 of the fruit out and pureed it with my magical immersion blender. Then I added the puree into the rest of the fruit that has been taken of the heat. Combine it and serve it on top of your cheesecake. Heaven! :))