Tomato-Topped Cheesecake with Gingersnap-Fresh Basil Crust with Tomato Jam

Time 2 h Difficulty Difficult Serves

Gingersnap-Fresh Basil Cookie Crust

  • 6 ounces gingersnap cookies
  • 1 stick butter, melted
  • 2-3 tablespoons sugar (it depends on the sweetness of the gingersnap cookies)
  • 1/2-1 cup fresh basil, thinly sliced

For the ricotta filling: 

  • 1 lb whole milk ricotta cheese
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 whole egg
  • 4-5 tablespoons whipping cream
  • 3-4 tablespoons sugar
  • Grated zest of 1 lemon or several dashes pure lemon extract
  • Pinch of salt

For the topping:

  • 6 ounces tomato passata (pureed tomatoes) 
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon sugar 
  • 1 stalk celery, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon salt 
  • 1 envelope powdered gelatine

For the crust, crush the cookies and mix with the melted butter, sugar, and basil; press into the bottom of a cake or pie pan, and place in the refrigerator to chill while you prepare the filling.

Break up the ricotta in a mixing bowl, and beat in the egg yolks and whole eggs, then add the cream, sugar, lemon zest or extract, and salt. Pour over the chilled crust, and bake in a 350 oven about 20 minutes or until the cheesecake turns golden on top and is slightly set. Remove from the oven and leave to cool while you make the topping.  

For the topping, combine the passata with 1/4 cup of the water, the sugar, the celery and the salt. Bring to boil, then reduce heat and simmer 10-15 minutes or until the celery softens; add more water if it gets too thick and threatens to scorch. 

Meanwhile, sprinkle the gelatine over the remaining water and leave about 5 minutes until it is softened, and thickened. 

Strain the tomato sauce, pressing the celery to extract as much of the celery flavor as you can; discard the solids. Add the softened gelatine to the tomatoes, mix well and cook over medium-low heat until the gelatine dissolves completely.

Pour the strained tomato mixture over the cheesecake, tilting the pan so that the tomato layer is thin and even. Place in the refrigerator and chill until ready to serve. 

Serve with Caramelized Tomato Jam

  • 10 ounces sugar
  • 32 ounces San Marzano Peeled tomatoes
  • Large pinch salt
  • About a quarter cup basil leaves, thinly sliced 

In a heavy-bottomed saucepan place the sugar in an even layer. Cook over medium-low heat until the sugar begins to melt and color. Add the whole tomatoes from the can, reserving the juice; break the tomatoes up with a wooden spoon as you cook them. You want the jam chunky. When they are slightly browned here and there, taking care that the sugar does not burn, add the juice that the tomatoes came in. Cook together, stirring every so often, until the tomatoes have concentrated to a thick, jammy consistency; about an hour.