Vol. 1,  No.  5,  This 27 Day of November, 2010
(Antonietta’s Kitchen*)
“the art of food, wine, family & more*”
By Antonietta La Posta


(Editor’s Note: We at Valente want to make sure that Antoinette’s fans know about her excellent cooking blog. We are therefore making a pre-upload this Saturday. This is a special post on the main blog page of Antoinette La Posta. (It is the next REGULAR post of her other blog, a cooking blog, entitled, “CUCINA D’ANTONIETTA* (Antonietta’s Kitchen*) “the art of food, wine, family & more*”. (To access the cooking blog, please enter the following Internet address:  www.saveandread.com. Once there, press the “Blog” button – it is the second to last button on the left, then press the button at the top, the second after home, bearing the inscription, ”Antoinette’s Kitchen”; and there press the link: www.saveandread.com/kitchen/
Or you can go directly to the new location at  www.saveandread.com/kitchen/
Please do join her on her food escapades. Reader comments regarding her scrumptuous recipes are whole- heartedly invited.)



The U.S. Thanksgiving holiday and Black Friday bargain hunting day have come and gone. The shopping season is in full swing.  Christmas music is being played. I am starting to think about…. Christmas.


I want to get you in the spirit early…… fast forward to dessert on Christmas day. At my house, it’s cheesecake, not store bought, ready-to-eat or a mix “bake-by-the-numbers* style. This yummy ricotta cheesecake is my mother’s recipe – in her day, she was a great cook. When I got married, I started making it too. It’s a veritable LA POSTA family original, upon which, I have put my very own stamp. It became known our cheesecake recipe. It has now been re-named “Ricotta Cheesecake di Ciliegie””. It’s cheery – sorry, I meant to say it’s cherry. (N.B. the Italian word, “ciliegie” means cherry.)

I am excited about making this – my recipe of the week. And without further ado, here is “Ricotta Cheesecake di Ciliegie””.



“Ricotta (…)  is an Italian sheep milk or cream cheese cow milk whey cheese.[1] Ricotta (literally meaning “recooked”) uses the whey, a limpid, low-fat, nutritious liquid that is a by-product of cheese production.

Ricotta is produced from whey, the liquid separated out from the curds when cheese is made. Most of the milk protein (especially casein) is removed when cheese is made, but some protein remains in the whey, mostly albumin. This remaining protein can be harvested if the whey is first allowed to become more acidic by additional fermentation (by letting it sit for 12–24 hours at room temperature). Then the acidified whey is heated to near boiling. The combination of low pH and high temperature denatures the protein and causes it to precipitate out, forming a fine curd. Once cooled, the curd is separated by passing through a fine cloth.

After realizing that whey cannot be safely dumped in large concentrations as it creates an environmental nuisance,[1] Pecorino Romano makers discovered that when the protein-rich substance is heated, whey protein particles fuse and create a curd. This curd, after drainage, is ricotta. Because ricotta is made from whey, rather than milk, it is technically considered a whey cheese.[2]

Ricotta is a fresh cheese (as opposed to ripened or aged), grainy and creamy white in appearance, slightly sweet in taste, and contains around 13% fat. In this form, it is somewhat similar in texture to some cottage cheese variants, though considerably lighter. Like many fresh cheeses, it is highly perishable. Ricotta comes in other forms as well.”
(Source: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia) – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ricotta

Why I prefer SAPUTO brand Ricotta

I always buy Saputo brand. It has a rich, smooth taste, not flat. It does not disappoint.


“Flour is a powder which is made from grinding up cereal grains, other seeds, or roots. It is the main ingredient of bread, which is a staple food for many cultures, making the availability of adequate supplies of flour a major economic and political issue at various times throughout history. Wheat flour is one of the most important foods in European, North American, Middle Eastern and North African cultures, and is the defining ingredient in most of their styles of breads and pastries. Maize flour has been important in Mesoamerican cuisine since ancient times, and remains a staple in much of Latin American cuisine.”
(Source: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia) – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flour

Why I prefer Robin Hood Five Roses brand flour

It is a good brand. I have been buying it forever. It is consistently good at a fair price.

Powdered (Icing) sugar

“Confectioner’s sugar Powdered sugar, also known as confectioner’s sugar or icing sugar, is very fine powdered sugar. When intended for home use, it typically contains a small amount of anti-caking agent.In industrial food production, it is used where a quick dissolving sugar is required. Domestically, it is principally used to make icing or frosting and other cake decorations. It is often lightly dusted on baked goods to add a light sweetness and subtle decoration.”
(Source: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia) – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Powdered_sugar

Why I prefer Redpath brand icing sugar

It is a fine brand…very reliable – you always get a good product with this company.

Whipped non- dairy topping

“Whipped topping is a non-dairy, or synthetic product made in an attempt to resemble the taste, texture, and look of whipped cream, but at a lower cost. Whipped topping normally contains some mixture of partially hydrogenated oil, sweeteners, and other ingredients, similar to margarine instead of the butter fat in the cream used in whipped cream.”
(Source: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia) -http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Whipped_topping

Why I prefer Dream Whip brand

I agree with the statement about this brand: “Dream Whip is a whipped, non-dairy topping sold in North America for desserts that is made at home by the consumer from a white powder.” (Source: http://www.practicallyedible.com/edible.nsf/pages/dreamwhip#ixzz16QDDbyRB

It is sold everywhere. I find it is easy to use and I am pleased with the results.

Cherry pie filling

“A homemade cherry pie with a lattice top. Cherry pie is a pie baked with a cherry filling. Traditionally, cherry pie is made with tart rather than sweet cherries as it is easier to control how sweet the pie eventually becomes and also eventually translates to a sharper taste. Morello cherries are one of the most common kinds of cherry used, but others, like the native black cherry, are also occasionally utilized.

Although generally eaten in North America, cherry pie is also known in other parts of the world. It is a very popular treat in North America and prior to the advent of refrigeration it was most commonly eaten in midsummer (harvest of cherries in North America coincides with Canada Day on July 1 and America’s Independence Day on July 4.) Cherry pie is also often eaten with whipped cream or ice-cream. A common preparation tradition in the United States is to decorate the crust with fancy pastry patterns.”
(Source: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia) – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cherry_pie

Why I prefer E.D. SMITH brand

It’s a well- known brand. This cherry pie filling has lots of cherries in it. It is very rich.


“Shortening is a semisolid fat used in food preparation, especially baked goods, and is so called because it promotes a “short” or crumbly texture (as in shortbread). Shortening is fat or lard from an animal or vegetable. The term “shortening” can be used more broadly to apply to any fat that is used for baking and which is solid at room temperature, such as butter, lard, and margarine. Shortening often has a higher smoke point than butter and margarine, and it has 100% fat content, compared to about 80% for butter and margarine.”
(Source: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia) – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shortening

Why I prefer Crisco brand

“Crisco is a brand of shortening produced by the J. M. Smucker Co. popular in the United States. Introduced in June 1911[1] by Procter & Gamble, it was the first shortening to be made entirely of vegetable oil. While the term Crisco is commonly used as a synonym for all shortening, Proctor and Gamble markets olive, cooking, and baking oil and a cooking spray under that trademark.”
(Source: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia) – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crisco

I do not use shortening often – pretty much only for baking.  I think Crisco brand is the best. It has a smooth taste.


“Eggs laid by females of many different species, including birds, reptiles, amphibians, and fish, have been eaten by mankind for millennia. Bird and reptile eggs consist of a protective eggshell, albumen (egg white), and vitellus (egg yolk), contained within various thin membranes.

Egg yolks and whole eggs store a lot of protein and choline.[1][2] For this reason, the USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) categorizes eggs as Meats within the Food Guide Pyramid[1]

Popular choices for egg consumption are chicken, duck, roe, and caviar. The egg most often humanly consumed by far is the produce of the chicken.” (Source: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia) – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Egg_(food)

Why do I prefer large size/brand

I prefer large size because it is perfect size – it makes the right amount. I like PRESTIGE CLUB PACK from Burnbrae Farms because they are good quality and fresh.


To make this ricotta cheesecake, you need a cake mixer, a measuring tablespoon, teaspoon and measuring cups. This recipe also calls for one 10-inch springform pan.

Mixer (cooking)

“A mixer is a kitchen appliance intended for mixing, folding, beating, and whipping food ingredients. Mixers come in two major variations, hand- mixers and stand mixers.

A hand mixer, as the name implies, is a hand-held mixing device. The modern electrically powered type consists of a handle mounted over a large enclosure containing the motor, which drives one or two beaters. The beaters are immersed in the food to be mixed. A simpler manually-operated type, which preceded electric mixers and is still used today, consists of a handle with a hand-operated crank on the side, geared to two beaters. The handle is held with one hand and the crank is turned with the other, turning the beaters.”
(Source: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia) – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mixer_(cooking)

I prefer a hand- mixer

With a cooking device, I need something that is easy to use and easy to clean. I like a hand-held device since it allows for movement around the bowl.

10-inch springform pan

To give you a specific reference of my no-name pan, I have checked on-line and I found  something equivalent: it is a Kaiser Tinplate Springform Pan – 6100SKU #: KSR1001

Why I prefer a 10-inch springform pan

I prefer the 10-inch springform pan because once the cheesecake is ready it makes it easier to cut when serving.


Specifications – Ingredients


• ½ pound shortening (Crisco brand)
• 1 tbsp. sugar
• 1 cup flour
• 1 egg yolk
• Salt
• ½ tbsp. water


• 2 containers of ricotta (Saputo brand – 475 grams)
• 2 tbsps. milk
• 2 cups icing sugar (Redpath brand)
• 4 envelopes (170 grams) Dream Whip brand (Kraft)
• 1 can (54o ml)  cherry pie filling (E.D. Smith brand)



1. ADD in a large bowl:
- ½ lb shortening (Crisco brand)
- 1 tbsp. sugar (Redpath brand)
- 1 cup of flour (Robin Hood Five Roses brand)
- 1 egg yolk
- a little salt to taste
- ½ tbsp.water
2. MIX well
3. LAY evenly in a baking pan
4. COOK at 350º for ½ hour


1. ADD the 2 containers of ricotta in a big bowl with 2 tbsps. milk
2. WHIP at medium speed for 2 minutes with a cake mixer
3. ADD gradually, while mixing, 2 cups icing sugar (Redpath brand)
4. MIX at high speed for 5 minutes
5. MIX, in a separate bowl, dream whip with 2 tbsps. vanilla extract and ½ cup milk (do not following directions on Dream Whip package).
6. WHIP for 5 minutes
7. ADD  to the ricotta bowl, whipped non-dairy topping (Dream Whip brand)
8. MIX for 5 minutes at high speed
9. POUR it in the springform pan
10. REFRIGERATE it for at least 4 hours before adding the cherry pie filling on top of the cheesecake

“Viola” – you can now serve this delicious ricotta cheesecake.


I love my yummy “RICOTTA CHEESECAKE DI CILIEGIE””. Although it is a heavy dessert, the taste is light.  There is no-baking involved and it doesn’t take long to make. The problem is that my guests, when invited, always expect it; and if I bake something else, they’re disappointed.  Without fail, I make it during the Christmas holidays. Finally, I give this recipe my personal stamp of approval. I am certain that you will  impress your guests.

Take this dish out for a spin – especially this Christmas, and tell me if you agree.
And that’s my food favorite for the week, what’s yours? *
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