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Tomato Cheesecake and the Greatest Tomatoes from Europe

Do we love cooking with tomatoes? Well, it’s right there in the name, isn’t it? And we especially love sweet recipes with tomatoes, like this luscious tomato cheesecake.

Tomato cheesecake? Yes! If you don’t think of tomatoes as something you would put in a dessert, think again. Tomatoes are naturally sweet (they’re a fruit, really). And they’re just as juicy and delicious as any other fruit you add to desserts, so they’re a natural fit.

We got this amazing tomato cheesecake recipe from the Greatest Tomatoes from Europe organization. The Greatest Tomatoes from Europe is a three-year campaign on behalf of ANICAV – the Italian Association of Canned Vegetable Industries. ANICAV members account for over 60% of all the processed tomatoes in Italy. In addition, they account for nearly all of the whole peeled tomatoes in the world. (That includes the internationally renowned San Marzano tomatoes). The campaign hosts events and tastings worldwide to spread knowledge about EU Preserved (canned) tomatoes.

What’s special about European canned tomatoes? Artisan farmers grow these tomatoes grow in rich fertile land, pick them at their peak of ripeness, and preserve them by time-honored methods. Additionally, these tomatoes are so flavorful that they don’t require the additives or flavoring ingredients that other canned tomatoes might need.

So, you wanted cheesecake? Here you go!

tomato cheesecake

Photo credit: Greatest Tomatoes from Europe

Tomato Cheesecake

A delicious tomato cheesecake recipe adapted from The Greatest Tomatoes from Europe.

Course Dessert
Cuisine Italian
Keyword cheesecake, Europe, Italian, tomato, tomatoes
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Tomato Jam Cooking Time 10 hours
Total Time 11 hours 5 minutes
Servings 8
Author Adapted from the Greatest Tomatoes from Europe

Ingredients

For the crust:

  • 1/2 cup butter (one stick)
  • 2 cups fresh basil
  • 5 ounces graham crackers or biscuit-style cookies

For the filling:

  • 5 ounces sugar
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 pound ricotta cheese (traditionally buffalo ricotta, if you can get your hands on some)
  • zest of one lemon
  • pinch of salt

For the topping:

  • 1 stalk celery
  • 6 ounces pureed tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp unflavored gelatin

For the tomato jam:

  • 35 ounces San Marzano peeled tomatoes
  • 10 ounces sugar
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 20 basil leaves

Instructions

For the crust:

  1. Using an electric mixer, cream the butter and basil together. Crush the graham cracker or biscuits and mix thoroughly with the butter and basil. Press into a 9-inch springform cheesecake pan. Set aside.

For the filling:

  1. In a medium bowl, whip the sugar with the egg yolks and the teaspoon of extra virgin olive oil. Whisk the ricotta and add it to the yolk mixture. Pour the mixture onto the base and bake in a preheated oven at 350°F for about 20 minutes. Set aside to cool.

For the topping:

  1. Finely dice the celery and add to a small saucepan with the pureed tomatoes. Cook for 8 minutes over medium heat. Strain the mixture; then add water, sugar, salt, and gelatin. Return the mixture to the saucepan, boil for five minutes and then set aside to cool for 10 minutes. Sieve the topping onto the cheesecake and chill the cheesecake in the refrigerator until ready to serve. Serve with prepared tomato jam.

For the tomato jam:

  1. Place tomatoes, sugar, salt, and basil leaves in a baking dish. Cover with parchment paper and cook at 210°F for at least 10 hours. The jam should be thick and sweet.

Note: Given that the tomato jam takes a while to make, you should plan to make it beforehand. Also important to note: You can store the tomato jam in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.

Love sweet tomato recipes? So do we! Check out these Basil Shortbread Cookies with Tomato Jam!

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