Sicilian Cheesecake with Lemon & Pine Nuts

April 03 2023 – That's Amore Cheese

Sicilian Cheesecake with Lemon & Pine Nuts

Sicilian Cheesecake with Lemon & Pine Nuts


Darren Purchese




4 people




  • 250g caster sugar
  • 2 lemons, fine zest and juice
  • 1/2 vanilla pod
  • 200g That's Amore Mascarpone
  • 2 eggs
  • 145g plain flour
  • 85g semolina
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • 80ml light canola oil





  • 200g pine nuts
  • 100g honey
  • 50g caster sugar
  • pinch of salt



  • 80g white chocolate, melted
  • pink & yellow food colouring



  • 200g lemon curd, store bought


    Preheat oven to 180°C and grease a 20cm X 20cm cake tin, lined neatly with baking paper.

    Prepare semolina sponge cake by adding caster sugar, zest of two lemons and vanilla into a bowl. Use your fingertips to rub it all together.

    Add mascarpone, eggs and juice from two lemons. Mix well to eradicate lumps - you should have a milky consistency. Add this to sugar mixture along with oil. Mix well.

    Sieve flour and baking powder into a large bowl, then add semolina and salt.

    Add liquid mixture in and use a spatula to combine.

    Pour batter into prepared cake tin and baked for 45-50 mins or until the top is golden brown and a skewer comes out clean from the centre once inserted.

    Leave to cool before turning out onto a cake rack.

    Prepare pine nuts by placing them in a heatproof bowl along with honey, sugar and salt. Heat for 20 seconds in microwave until runny. Mix well and pour mixture onto a baking tray lined with baking paper. Baked for 10-12 mins in oven or until nuts are golden brown. Leave to cool on paper and then store in a sealed container.

    Divide melted white chocolate into two small containers and colour each one pink and yellow. Use a pastry brush to brush the two chocolates on the inside of the four dessert glasses or bowls.

    Prepare cheesecake by whisking cream to firm peaks.

    Add ricotta and icing sugar into a mixing bowl and mix well to eliminate lumps. Add mascarpone, lemon and vanilla and mix again. Fold cream into mixture and set aside.

    To assemble, use a sharp knife to cut the cake into 2cm square cubes of sponge.

    Transfer lemon curd into a piping bag or spoon a table spoon into bottom of each glass.

    Keep four nice clusters of candied pine nuts aside for finishing. Add remaining pine nuts into a small blender and blitz on high until you have a smooth paste. If paste is too thick, add small amount of warm water.

    Spoon a teaspoon of pine nut butter into bottom of each glass.

    Add a few sponge cubes to each glass and reserve the rest of sponge cake.

    Pipe or spoon a couple of tablespoons of cheesecake into each dessert glass.

    Pipe more curd into each glass and add more sponge cubes.

    Add more cheesecake to each glass and finish with a cluster of candied pine nuts in each. 

    Serve immediately.


    Tagged: Cake, Dessert