BEAVER COUNTY MEDICAL SOCIETY

You all know how reluctant people are to cross bridges and go through tunnels.  Last night I went all the way to Beaver to spend the evening with the folks from the Beaver Counter Medical Society.  The draw?  Cheesecake.  Not the cloying, overly sweet and decadent kind from the restaurant of the same name.  These were actually made by Phyllis Loffreda-Mancinelli (of Ravioli Lady fame) from a recipe I got from my mother.  They are barely sweet with a hint of lemon flavor and a creamy texture.  Phyllis must have stayed up all night baking and cooling all these cakes.  And they all came out looking (and tasting) perfect.  We served them with fresh berries.

After dinner and the cooking demonstration, they started dance lessons and that was my cue to head back East to Regent Square.  My thanks to the Medical Society for inviting me to the dinner, to Phyllis for doing all the hard work and to her husband, Claudio, for his hospitality (and two great bottles of wine to try at home.)  Here’s the recipe in case you’d like to try this at home.

ITALIAN CHEESECAKE

6 eggs

6 tablespoons sugar

1 tablespoon vanilla

2 pounds ricotta, drained

1 pound of cream cheese or mascarpone cheese

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1 pint sour cream

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Grease and flour a 9″ springform pan.  Beat the eggs and sugar in a bowl until the sugar is dissolved.  Add the vanilla.  Beat in the cheeses and lemon juice until the mixture is smooth.   Fold in the sour cream and then pour into the prepared springform pan.  Bake for 1 hour and then turn the oven off and leave the cake in the oven for 3-5 hours.  Refrigerate for at least an hour before serving.