¾ cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
Zest of 2 meyer lemons
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 large eggs, separated
1 cup ricotta cheese
½ cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
A pinch of salt
10 ounces cranberries
A handful of sage leaves
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees and butter an 8-inch springform pan. Using a wooden spoon or a hand mixer, cream the butter and ¾ cup sugar. Then add the ricotta, vanilla, lemon zest and egg yolks. In a separate bowl, use a hand mixer to beat the egg whites with a pinch of salt until they form stiff peaks. In a third bowl, combine and mix the dry ingredients. Add the dry ingredients to the wet, and combine until well-integrated. Then fold in the egg whites, until just combined (you don’t want to over mix here) and pour into the pan, using the back of the spatula to smooth out the top. Bake for 45 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean and the sides and top of the cake are beginning to turn golden brown.
While the ricotta bakes, make your cranberry sauce. Place the cranberries in a large pot with ¼ cup of sugar and about a cup of water. Bring to a boil, then turn the heat down just a bit and cook until the fruit bursts and the sauce reaches the jammy consistency you like—about an hour is best. Add a bit more sugar (to taste) and cook for a few more minutes over low heat until the sugar has dissolved.
When the cheesecake is done, unmold and let cool. While the cake cools, melt a few tablespoons of butter in a sauce pan over low heat and add the sage leaves. Fry them slowly and gently until their color has darkened (from butter saturation, naturally). Remove them with a slotted spoon and strain on a paper towel. To serve the cake, spoon a bit of sweet cranberry sauce over the top of the cake and garnish with fried sage leaves!