italian cheesecake

Italian Cheesecake

4 large eggs, separated
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon orange rind
4 cups (2 pounds) ricotta cheese
1/3 cup unbleached white flour
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1/2 teaspoon lemon rind

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Butter a 10-inch springform pan. Dust with flour.

Beat egg whites until stiff. In separate bowl, beat together cheese, egg yolks, sugar and flour approximately 3 minutes. Stir in vanilla and almond extracts and orange and lemon rinds. Gently fold in beaten egg whites. Pour into a prepared pan; bake 50 minutes. Turn off oven, open door and leave cake in oven for 15 minutes. Cool completely before serving.

This cake is delicious enough to be served on its own, but if you must, fresh strawberries or blueberries may be served on top.