A Touch of Exotic Cheesecake (Gluten Free)

I made some ricotta for Mario Batali’s Crazy Lasagna recipe, and I had lots of ricotta leftover.  So, I decided to make a ricotta cheesecake with an exotic twist, because it is the holiday season!  This is a less dense, but really scrumptious cheesecake.

Orange Blossom water is available at specialty stores, and Middle Eastern markets (like OM in Temple).  You could substitute orange zest, but it’s just not the same.

Exotic Cheesecake

A Touch of Exotic Cheesecake

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 11 hours

Yield: Serves 10-12


  • 1 1/2 cups pecans
  • 1/2 cup coconut flour
  • 3 TBSP cold butter, cut into small chunks
  • Filling
  • 2 1/2 cups whole milk ricotta
  • 1 (8oz) pkg cream cheese (not reduced fat), at room temperature
  • 2 cups packed brown sugar
  • 3 TBSP cornstarch
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground cardamon
  • 2 tsps orange blossom water
  • 1 TBSP vanilla
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature


  1. Heat oven to 350°
  2. Grease a 9" springform pan. Place a large piece of heavy foil around the outside of the pan, so when you set it in the water bath, there's no possibility of leaking.
  3. Crust
  4. Place pecans in a food processor, and finely grind. Add coconut flour (available at health food stores), and process well. Add butter and process until well combined. Press mixture evenly, into the bottom of a springform pan.
  5. Filling
  6. In the bowl of a mixer, beat together ricotta, cream cheese, 1/2 cup of the sugar, cornstarch, salt, and cardamon. Beat on low until creamy about 3 min.
  7. Add remaining 1 1/2 cups sugar. Beat on medium to high speed.
  8. Then beat in orange blossom water and vanilla.
  9. Then beat in eggs one at a time. Mix until just combined together.
  10. Spoon into springform pan over pecan crust.
  11. Place springform pan in a large shallow pan containing hot water that comes about 1" up the sides of the springform pan.
  12. Bake the cheesecake until the center barely jiggles, about 1 hour.
  13. Cool at least 1 hour on a rack.
  14. Cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours before removing the sides of the springform.
  15. Serve this luscious golden color cheesecake with whipped cream, fruit, or just straight up - delish.