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Italian Meringue Cheesecake

Italian Meringue CheesecakeA cheesecake with flaky crust, creamy ricotta cheese filling and topped with feather-light Italian meringue. The meringue used in this recipe replicates the taste and texture of Italian meringue without the complicated techniques, making this dessert truly an easy desert treat!  Here's an easy dessert recipe for Italian Meringue Cheesecake.

Ingredients:
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup granulated sugar, divided
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted
4 eggs
4 teaspoons grated orange rind, divided
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 container (2 pounds) ricotta cheese
1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 egg whites

Procedures:

Preheat oven to 375 degree F.

Mix together the flour, 1/2 cup granulated sugar, the melted butter, 2 eggs, 1 teaspoon orange rind and salt in a medium-sized bowl. Stir the mixture until it forms a ball. Flatten the dough ball and line into the bottom and sides of a 9-inch deep pie plate. Use your fingers to spread the dough into a smooth and even crust. Cover with kitchen wrap and place in the refrigerator to chill.

Meanwhile, prepare the filling. In a medium-sized bowl, beat the ricotta cheese, confectioners' sugar, the remaining 2 whole eggs, 3 teaspoons orange rind and cinnamon using an electric beater on medium speed until well blended, about 2 to 3 minutes. Pour mixture into the chilled crust and bake for 40 to 45 minutes, until almost set in the center. Set aside.

In a large bowl, beat the 3 egg whites and the remaining 1/4 cup granulated sugar for 5 to 6 minutes with an electric beater on high speed, until stiff peaks form. Drop dollops of the meringue over the top of the pie. Make sure to seal the edges of the crust with the meringue. Bake for another 15 to 20 minutes, until golden brown on top. Allow the Italian Meringue Cheesecake to cool to room temperature, then cover loosely and chill for at least 4 hours before serving.

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