Italian Easter Cheesecake

Desserts > Cheesecakes
Seasonal > Easter

2 1/2 cup Flour
1/2 cup Shortening
1/2 cup Sugar
1 tbsp Vanilla
1/2 tsp Baking soda
1/4 cup Milk
2 Eggs
1 1/2 tsp Baking powder

2 lbs Fine ricotta
(do not use cottage cheese)
1/4 cup Creme de cocoa or rum, (i use rum)
2 cup Sugar
1/2 lbs Chocolate bar, grated fine
Rind of 1 lemon
Rind of 1 orange
1 tsp Vanilla
2 tbsp Cinnamon
1 dozen Eggs, (yes 1 dozen)
1 Maraschino cherries (not the large bottle) about 8 ozs

Cut flour and shortening as you do to make a pie crust.
Add the remaining ingredients to make a soft dough.
Roll and line a large rectangular baking pan (no need to grease pan) with the dough.
I use a very old 11 x 16 blue speckled enamel pan.
chop cherries.
Pour cherries, including juice, into large bowl.
Add all remaining ingredients and beat with electric mixer very well.
If you dont beat this enough, the eggs separate during baking and you'll end up with a custard on the bottom of the cake.
Immediately pour into unbaked crust, bake at 350°F for 1 hour and 10 minutes.
Shut oven off – let casade cool in the oven for approximately 1 hour.
if you have a little filling left over, just bake it in a pan without the crust.
It should be fine and will also give you a taste without having to cut the big one before your guests arrive.