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Passover Cheesecake


Each year, we spend the first or second day of this holiday with Mike’s family.  My mother in law makes her famous matzoh ball soup (someday I will have to get this recipe!), brisket, chicken, and loads of delicious side dishes.  I usually contribute the dessert.  Passover desserts do not contain bread products therefore in the past I have made things like coconut macaroons and french macarons.  This year, I have decided to make a Passover cheesecake with matzoh meal.  I hope you enjoy this recipe- I found it on-line (Bon Appetit, May 2011) after doing just a bit of research.  Comments welcome!!!!


  • 2 15-oz. containers whole-milk ricotta
  • 1 T unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 T plus 1 cup sugar
  • 3-4 T matzo meal
  • 2 8-oz. packages cream cheese, room temperature, cut into cubes
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 T salt-free matzo meal
  • 1 T fresh lemon juice
  • 2 1/2 t lemon zest
  • 2 t vanilla extract
  • 1/8 t kosher salt
  • Powdered sugar (for dusting)



Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Arrange rack in lower third of oven. Grease an 8" springform pan with 2 1/2"-high sides with butter and line bottom of pan with parchment paper.

Put ricotta in a large fine-mesh strainer set over a bowl. Drain for 30 minutes.  

For "crust" (this is a thin crust):  Mix 1 Tbsp. sugar and matzo in a small bowl; sprinkle over buttered springform pan to evenly coat. Tap out excess crumbs.  Click here for traditional cheesecake recipe with the graham cracker crust alternative:  

Transfer ricotta to a processor. Purée for 15 seconds. Scrape down sides of processor; purée until smooth. Add cream cheese; purée until smooth. Add the remaining sugar and all other ingredients; purée, scraping down sides occasionally, until smooth, about 30 seconds. Scrape batter into prepared pan and tap on flat surface to eliminate any bubbles.  Place pan inside a large roasting pan (or lasagna pan...something with high enough sides) and fill roasting pan with warm water so that surrounds cheesecake approximately 3/4 high.  Don't worry, with the proper seal on the springform pan, water will not leak in to cheesecake!  For added security, feel free to wrap springform pan in aluminum foil.  

Bake cheesecake until golden brown and just set, about 1 hour 15 minutes. You may think it look a bit "underdone" with a jiggly middle but do not be deceived!.  Transfer to a rack and let cool in pan (cake will fall slightly). Refrigerate uncovered until cool, about 3 hours. Then cover and chill overnight or at least another 3 hours.

To serve, wrap a warm towel around pan to release cake. Remove pan sides. Dust with powdered sugar. Cut into wedges.

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