(Serves 8 to 10)
INGREDIENTS FOR THE FILLING:
– 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
– 1/4 cup (50 grams) farro
– 1/4 cup (40 grams) dried cherries
– 1/4 cup (40 grams) golden raisons
– 1/4 cup (60 ml) sweet Marsala
– 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
– 1/2 cup (85 grams) whole-milk ricotta cheese, drained
– 8 ounces (228 grams) cream cheese, softened
– 8 ounces (228 grams) mascarpone cheese, softened
– 1 1/2 cups (295 grams) sugar
– 5 large eggs
– 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
– 1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
– 1/4 cup (60 ml) heavy cream
INGREDIENTS FOR THE DOUGH:
– 12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks/ 168 grams) butter, softened
– 1/2 cup (60 grams) confectioners’ sugar
– 1 1/2 cups (224 grams) all-purpose flour
TO MAKE THE FILLING:
– Bring a medium pot of water to boil. Add the salt and farro and cook until the farro is tender, about 20 minutes. Drain well and set aside to cool.
– Combine the cooled farro, dried cherries, raisins, Marsala, and cinnamon in a medium bowl and let stand at room temperature for 1 hour
TO MAKE THE DOUGH:
– Combine the butter and confectioners’ sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and mix on medium speed, scraping down the sides of the bowl once or twice, until well combined. Turn the mixer to medium- high speed and beat until the dough is soft and smooth, about 6 minutes more. Form the dough into a ball, wrap in plastic and refrigerate for 20 minutes.
– Preheat oven to 375 degrees (190° C). Butter the bottom and sides of a 10-inch springform pan. Wrap the outside of the pan with 2 squares of heavy-duty foil.
– On a lightly floured counter, roll out the dough into an 11-inch circle. Transfer it to the prepared pan and pat it firmly into the bottom and up the sides of the pan. Place the pan in the freezer for 5 minutes to allow the dough to firm up.
– Cut a 12-inch circle of parchment and place it on top of the dough. To weigh it down, cover the paper with 2 cups dried beans. Bake the crust for 7 minutes.
– Remove the beans and parchment, and bake until the crust is dry and golden brown, about another 12 minutes.
TO FINISH THE FILLING:
– While the crust is baking, combine the ricotta, cream cheese, and mascarpone in a clean mixer bowl and mix on low with the paddle attachment, scraping down the sides of the bowl once or twice, until well combined. Add the sugar and mix for 2 minutes. Add the eggs, vanilla, lemon zest, and heavy cream, turn the mixer to medium speed, and mix for another 2 minutes.
– Bing about 4 quarts (4 liters) of water to a boil in a pot or a large kettle. Remove the springform pan from the oven and place it in a roasting pan. Lower the oven temperature to 275 degrees (135° C).
– Spread half of the cheese mixture evenly into the crust. Spread half of the fruit mixture over the cheese and drizzle the liquid from the bowl over the fruit. Spread the remaining cheese mixture evenly over the fruit, and sprinkle with the remaining fruit.
– Place the roasting pan in the oven and pour enough boiling water into the roasting pan to come about halfway up the sides of the springform pan. Bake for 15 minutes. Increase the heat to 300 degrees (150° C) and bake for another 15 minutes. Increase the heat to 325 degrees (165°C) and bake until the cake is set around the edges but a little loose in the middle, about 30 minutes more.
– Remove the springform pan from the water bath. Carefully remove and discard the foil, and set the pan on a wire rack. Run a sharp paring knife around the inside of the pan to loosen the sides of the cake, and let cool to room temperature before removing the cake from the pan, slicing and serving. The cheesecake is best served on the day it is made.