For the last few years I have defaulted to three super easy desserts to serve at dinner parties. If you entertain you know it’s more than enough work to come up with a menu, shop, cook a fabulous meal, and set a beautiful table.
Last year it was pears that I popped into the oven when we sat down to dinner, served with a dollop of mascarpone cheese that was whipped with some sugar, and finished with a handful of nut crumble that I would have made earlier that day. Always a hit.
My favorite though, is some version of a ricotta cheesecake. So easy to re-invent each time it’s made. I’ve made many cheesecakes using the same base recipe such as a Meyer Lemon, Key Lime, Pumpkin Pie, Spiced Rum, and now Blood Orange, and it won’t stop there honey.
What makes it the perfect dessert for any occasion is that it tastes better made one or two days before serving. When I am running around trying to find the perfect outfit in my closet, setting the table and vacuuming up pet hair, it’s nice knowing that dessert is waiting and ready.
Of course, I make a gluten free version of the cheesecakes. However, if you are dairy free we made this Vegan Blueberry Cheesecake awhile back and it was spectacular.
The third dessert idea? Let that guest that begs to bring something to dinner take care of dessert……..
- Graham Cracker Crust - I used a boxed gf mix
- 2 lb container of ricotta cheese
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/3 cup all purpose gf flour
- 3 eggs, at room temperture
- 1 tsp orange extract
- 1 blood orange, zested and juiced
- 1/4 tsp salt
Heat the oven to 325 degrees.
Line a 9" springform pan with parchment paper and grease bottom and up the sides.
Add ricotta to bowl and using stand mixer or hand held beat on medium for 3 minutes.
At low speed add the sugar, then flour, blend until blended well.
One at a time add eggs, then orange juice and zest, orange extract and salt.
Blend until all incorporated, perhaps scraping down the sides as well.
Pour into prepared graham cracker crust.
Bake for 1 hour, the edges will be slightly browned and the center will jiggle a bit.
Remove from oven and cool slightly, then place into fridge for the next day or two.
Remove from fridge a few hours before you plan to serve.
If garnishing with slices of blood orange, line a baking sheet with parchment.
Place slices on sheet and sprinkle with sugar, bake 20 mins at 350 degrees until a bit crisp.