This cheesecake makes the perfect springtime pud. Philippa Davis' recipe for citrus, ricotta and honey cheesecake with a pistachio base is light, creamy and decadent

Citrus works wonders for adding a burst of flavour and freshness and is perfect for springtime dining, advises Philippa Davis. Her recipe for citrus, ricotta and honey cheesecake with a pistachio base is a light and creamy treat.

For a lighter dessert, try blood orange, cardamom and tequila sorbet – best served supremely chilled and with a generous dash of extra tequila on top.


Using ricotta creates the perfect balance between light and creamy, creating a cheesecake that’s still decadent. To prevent the top from cracking, follow the method below and be sure not to over beat the eggs or expose the cheesecake to sudden changes of temperature while it is cooking and cooling.

Serves 8-10

You will need a 23cm/9in spring-form cake tin


  • 75g shelled pistachios
  • 40 pumpkin seeds
  • 110g ground almonds
  • 130g plain flour
  • 75g golden caster sugar
  • Zest of 2 limes
  • 80g cold butter, grated on the large side of a cheese grater
  • 1 tsp pistachio or almond essence


  • 375g ricotta
  • 110g caster sugar
  • 375g mascarpone
  • Juice  and zest of two lemons
  • 50g runny honey
  • 2 tsp vanilla essence
  • 50g flour
  • 5 organic eggs

Caramelised lemon slices

  • 1 lemon, cut into thin round slices
  • 1-2 tbsp icing sugar

To serve

  • Zest of 1 orange
  • 1 tsp icing sugar

To make the caramelised lemon slices, turn the grill to high. Lay the lemon slices flat on a baking sheet and dust liberally with icing sugar. Grill until golden then leave to cool.

To make the base, preheat the oven to 180°C (fan)/350°F/Gas Mark 4 and line the bottom of your tin with baking parchment. Tightly wrap the outside with four layers of wide foil to make the bottom watertight.

In a processor, blitz the pistachios and pumpkin seeds until fine, add the almonds, flour, sugar and zest and blitz briefly. Dump in the butter and essence and pulse until it comes together (if too dry, add a little more butter). Press firmly into the tin and bake on a lower shelf for 15 minutes or until just turning golden.

For the filling, strain the ricotta in a sieve and discard the liquid. Whisk the sugar and mascarpone with an electric whisk for a couple of minutes then add the lemon zest, ricotta, honey, vanilla, zest/ juice and flour, whisk until just combined.

In a small bowl, lightly beat the eggs then gently whisk into the mix. Pour onto base.

Place in a bain-marie, check water level comes two-thirds of the way up the tin and bake in oven for 50-60 minutes; the centre should have a slight wobble.

Turn off the oven and wedge the door so it’s just open. Leave for an hour then take the cheesecake out of the oven and bain-marie. Refrigerate for at least four hours or until completely cooled.

Serve with slices of caramelised lemon, a sprinkling of  orange zest and a dusting of icing sugar.