Rich cheesecake is lighter than its New York cousins

Julie Rothman / The Baltimore Sun /

Carol Frey, of Baltimore, was looking for a recipe she has lost for making a ricotta cheesecake. Thomas Scavuzzo shared an old family recipe from the Renna Dairy Co. in Rosedale, Pa. His grandparents owned the dairy, which closed in 1965.

While cheesecakes are not difficult to make, there are a few golden rules one should try to follow. Start by making sure all your ingredients are at room temperature; take care not to overbeat them; and because cheesecake is essentially custard, it is best to bake it in a water bath. Use very hot or almost boiling water and pour enough water to come halfway up the sides of the spring form pan.

This cheesecake is rich and creamy and much lighter in taste and texture than a New York-style cheesecake; it also pairs beautifully with the graininess of the graham cracker crust. It was very good served plain, but I think it would be even better topped with some fruit or a berry sauce.

Request

Harold Lauer, of Spearfish, S.D., is looking for a recipe for Coney Dog sauce that was served at the A&W drive-ins in the 1960s.