Fiadone (Corsican Cheesecake)
A small, inset picture in an article in Waitrose’s magazine – but unaccompanied with instructions – inspired me to look for this recipe. The texture is grainier than a cheesecake made with cream cheese, but it is also more juicy and succulent. Lemon zest gives it fragrance and lift. This is a very quick and simple recipe. In Corsica it is made with Brocciu cheese, a fresh sheep cheese, but Ricotta can be substituted. If anyone tries it with soft sheep or goat cheese, please let me know how it turns out (unless I beat you to it). Also the lemon zest may be replaced with orange zest or orange flower water.
To make a lighter Fiadone, it is possible to separate the whites from the yolks of the eggs and beat them until stiff separately before adding them back into the mix.
500g fresh Brocciu cheese (or Ricotta)
zest of half an unwaxed lemon
one shot of eau de vie (I used kirschwasser)
a knob of butter (‘une noix de beurre’)
Preheat the oven to 180C
In a bowl, whip the eggs with the sugar and lemon zest until foamy, then add the cheese bit by bit, continue to whip briskly as you go. When the cheese is thoroughly worked into the mixture, beat in a shot of eau de vie.
Pour the batter into a buttered pie dish or springform pan. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes until a knife inserted into the centre comes out clean. Despite the eggs, this cake will rise only very slightly and collapse again after being removed from the oven. Serve cool.