Limoncello Cheesecake with Citrus Comfiture and Balsamic Caramel

Pino Postero

Cioppino’s Mediterranean Grill & Enoteca Vancouver

Italian-born Pino Posteraro’s Mediterranean-inspired meal at the Beard House included this light and delicious cheesecake. Its refreshing lemon taste comes from limoncello, a lemon-scented digestif from Italy—perfect for warm summer days by the sea. To simplify the recipe, you can serve the cake on its own or with store-bought orange marmalade.


Limoncello Cheesecake:
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 vanilla bean, scraped
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 5 egg yolks
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 3/4 sheets of leaf gelatin, bloomed (see notes)
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 8-ounce package cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup mascarpone
  • 1/4 cup yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons limoncello
Citrus Crust:
  • Peel of 2 oranges
  • Peel of 2 lemons
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup toasted shredded coconut
Balsamic Caramel:
  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
Citrus Comfiture:
  • 3 lemons
  • 2 oranges
  • 1 grapefruit
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon corn syrup
  • 1/4 vanilla bean, split and scraped


To make the cheesecake, bring the milk and cream to a boil in a pot with the vanilla and lemon zest. Whisk together the egg yolks, sugar, and salt. Add a small amount of the milk and cream into the yolks and mix. Pour the mixture back into the pot, and cook until thick enough to hold a line drawn with your finger on the back of a spoon. Strain through a sieve to remove the vanilla pod. While the mixture is still warm, stir in the bloomed gelatin.

In a mixer, whip the cream cheese, mascarpone, yogurt, and limoncello. Slowly pour in the warm milk mixture and mix to combine, scraping the mixer bowl frequently.

Pour the mixture into an 8-inch springform pan. Place the cake in the freezer overnight.

To make the citrus crust, blanch the orange and lemon peel in boiling water for 2 minutes and strain. Heat the sugar and water in a saucepan over medium-high heat, add the blanched peel and simmer until completely translucent, about 15 minutes. Place the candied peel on a baking sheet lined with a silcone mat and place in a warm place, such as an oven that has heated, but is turned off, to let the peel dry overnight. The next day, put the dried peel and the coconut in a food processor and chop into small pieces.

To make the balsamic caramel, combine the vinegar and brown sugar in a non-reactive saucepan over medium heat and simmer for approximately 5 minutes, or until reduced by half.

To make the citrus comfiture, cut the citrus fruits into supremes (see notes) and place in a sieve to collect the juice below. Combine 1/4 cup of the reserved juice, sugar, corn syrup, and vanilla in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Cook until a drop of the syrup dropped into cold water forms a soft ball, about 10 minutes. Pour the syrup over the segments in a bowl and cool to room temperature

To serve, remove the cake from freezer, allow to thaw for 10 minutes, and remove from pan. Press the crust into the sides of cake. Serve with citrus comfiture, drizzle with balsamic caramel, and sprinkle any remaining crust on top if desired.


One 8-inch cake