Monday, September 4, 2017

Anna Sultana’s Ricotta Cheesecake and the Full Corn or Barley Moon


Happy Labour Day!
The summer just flew...
with some good and some bad times.

Hope all of you have kept safe and well, and that those who could see it enjoyed the eclipse.
I really hope that the fires will soon be out in western Canada and northern Manitoba and that Harvey will be the only bad storm in the southern United States.


Well, it’s the start of September and time to back to normal.
Oh… normal. Time to make a cheesecake.
Yes, cheesecake always helps, as the ladies on The Golden Girls knew.

Over the years I’ve posted a few cheesecake recipes.
But, wouldn’t you know, I forgot to post a very simple, basic recipe.
Well, here it is, just in time to get us through the adjustment period.

If you want to be traditional, this is usually served with a cup of espresso.
That’s not required.
Just have a cup of whatever you enjoy and get ready to get back to normal… 
and the holidays.


Hints:

If you don’t have graham wafer crumbs you can crush in a food processor
18 Graham crackers (2 packets from a 14 ounce box)
Process until the crumbs are consistent. 
No food processor? 
Place the crackers in a zip lock bag, seal, and use a rolling pin to crush.

If you don’t have graham wafers, you can crush arrowroot or sugar cookies.

Don’t have orange rind or extract? Lemon or more vanilla will do.


                                                Ricotta Cheesecake

Serves 8

Place in a colander over a bowl and drain
about 34 ounces ricotta cheese (some brands are more watery than others)
You want to have 32 ounces of drained ricotta cheese for the recipe.

Spread over the bottom and sides of a 10-inch springform pan
1 Tablespoon butter, softened

Either in a pot or in a medium-sized microwaveable bowl, melt
1/2 Cup butter
Stir in
2 Cups graham wafer crumbs
Combine well.
Press the graham cracker mixture into the bottom and along the sides of the pan. 
Set aside.

Place the oven rack in the middle of the oven.
Preheat the oven to 330º

Sift together into a small bowl
1/3 Cup flour
1 Cup sugar

Scrape the ricotta into a medium bowl.
Add
2 teaspoons grated orange rind or 1 teaspoon orange extract
Stir together.
Slowly fold in the flour mixture with a spatula.
Blend until the mixture is smooth.
Add, one at a time
6 large eggs
Blend with a spatula until well blended.
Stir in 
1 teaspoon vanilla

Pour the mixture into the prepared pan and smooth the top surface.
Bake for 60 minutes.

The top of the cheesecake should be golden and a knife inserted in the centre should come out clean.
LEAVE THE CHEESECAKE IN THE OVEN.
Turn off the oven and leave the door open a crack.
You can prop the door with a wooden spoon.
Cool the cake for 60 minutes in the oven.
Remove the pan from the oven.
Cool the cheesecake on a wire rack until room temperature.
Refrigerate for a few hours prior to eating.
Serve at room temperature or slightly chilled.

The leftover cheesecake can be stored, wrapped, in the refrigerator.


About the sky this week and next, thanks to the folks at The Farmers' Almanac

September 4 — You’ll be able to spot Orion the Hunter rising in the early dawn hours! Neptune, the 8th planet from the Sun, will be the closest to Earth for the year. On the 5th, it reaches opposition,which means it’s most opposite the Sun for the year.

September 6 — Full  Moon at 3:03 a.m. At this phase the visible Moon is fully illuminated by direct sunlight. But is it the full Harvest Moon or the full Corn Moon?  
While many might think the Harvest Moon is always in September, it’s really the full Moon nearest the autumnal equinox (September 22, this year). 
September’s full Moon is the third and final full Moon of the summer season, but in 2017, the October full Moon actually occurs closer to the autumn equinox, so October’s full Moon is this year’s Harvest Moon. When the September full moon is not the Harvest Moon, we call it the Corn or Barley Moon.

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