Kiwi Cheesecake

kiwifruit is the focus of this unusual rich cheesecake with apricot preserves.
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour, 20 minutes

* Filling:
* 2 packages (each 8 ounces/250 g) cream cheese, softened
* 2 cups ricotta cheese, drained (see Tip) (500 mL)
* 1 cup sour cream (250 mL)
* 1-1/2 cups granulated sugar (375 mL)
* 5 eggs
* 3 medium kiwis, peeled and pureed
* 1/2 cup all-purpose flour (125 mL)
* 2 Tablespoons fresh lime juice (25 mL)
* 1 Tablespoon vanilla (15 mL)
* .
* Decoration:
* 3 medium kiwis, peeled and sliced thin
* 1/2 cup apricot preserves (125 mL)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F./180 degrees C. Prepare pan: 9-inch (23 cm) cheesecake or springform pan with 3-inch (7.5 cm) sides, lined with parchement paper.

In a large mixer bowl, beat cream cheese, ricotta, sour cream, and sugar on medium-high speed for 3 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition. Stir in kiwi puree, flour, lime juice, and vanilla. Pour into prepared cheesecake pan. Bake in preheated oven for 55 to 65 minutes or until the top is light brown and the center has a slight jiggle to it. Cool on a rack for 2 hours. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 6 hours before decorating.

Place sliced kiwis on top of cheesecake. In a small saucepan, bring apricot preserves to medium heat. Press through a sieve. Brush on top of kiwis. This will keep the fruit looking fresh.

To drain ricotta, place a fine mesh strainer over a bowl, place the cheese in the strainer and let stand for at least 1 hour or overnight in the refrigerator. When purchasing fresh kiwis, they should be firm like a ripe tomato. Use fresh lime juice. Bottled lime juice can have a metallic taste.

Yield: 10 to 12 servings