This article appeared in the Spring 2015 edition of Leviathan Jewish Journal.
The holiday of Shavuot, the Hebrew word for “weeks”, is always celebrated 7 weeks after Passover. This festival marks the day that God gave the Torah to the Israelites on Mount Sinai. Dairy products are traditionally served for dinner before a long night of Torah study. Jews will spend all night and early hours of the morning pouring of the Book of Ruth and the Torah in order to learn how to be more righteous and pious in the upcoming year.

 

Ingredients:

1 1/4 cup of flour

1/2 cup of butter

1/4 cup of packed brown sugar

Cake:

30 oz of whole milk ricotta

16 oz of cream cheese

2 large eggs

3/4 cup of sugar

2 tbs of matzoh meal

1 tbsp of lemon juice

zest of one lemon

2 tsp almond extract

1/4 tsp of salt

 

Instructions:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. First butter the bottom and sides of an 8-inch spring form pan. In a food processor combine flour, butter and sugar for the crust. Pulse until moist clumps form. Using a spoon or fingers, press the crust on the base of the pan but not on the sides. Bake the crust for about 25 minutes until it is golden brown. Let the crust cool completely.

While the crust is cooling, pulse the ricotta in the food processor until smooth. Be sure to drain excess water from the ricotta before using. Add the cream cheese to the ricotta and pulse again until smooth and mixed completely. Mix in the remaining ingredients. When the crust is cooled pour the ricotta mixture into the pan. Place in the middle rack of the oven and bake for about 1 hour and ten minutes. The top of the cheesecake should be golden brown. Let the cheesecake cool to room temperature and then store it in the fridge overnight. Serve with powdered sugar and berries.

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