Fiadone Corsican Cheesecake – a quick and easy classic dessert from Corsica using Brocciu ewe’s milk (or ricotta) cheese and laced with lemon.
It’s probably the laziest cheesecake in the world. Recipe continuously tested and approved by my Corsican husband!
A Cheesecake Dessert Typically for Autumn
As soon as the temperature drops in Autumn and the first, fresh Brocciu cheese appears at our local market, I love to celebrate its arrival by making a Fiadone Corsican Cheesecake.
Antoine’s Corsican family, like many on the Ile de Beauté, serves the Corsican classic Fiadone in the winter and spring months. It’s a typical family dessert with the main ingredient being Brocciu cheese. However, if you can’t find Brocciu, it can be replaced by a good salty ricotta to make it a Corsican Ricotta Cake.
What is Brocciu Corsican Cheese?
Brocciu (pronounced Brotchiou, more often Brooch) is the only Corsican cheese that is certified with AOC (controlled designation of origin) and AOP (protected designation of origin, the European equivalent) labels. It’s also the only French AOC cheese made from whey.
According to the Corsican Agricultural and Rural Development agency, Brocciu is not to be confused with Brousse, since its AOC status has to contain at least 40% fat; if it has any less, it’s called Brousse.
If Brocciu is left to age slightly and has added salt, this is used for savoury dishes, such as in this Corsican Mint Omelette.
As with all Corsican cheeses, Brocciu is made from goat or sheep’s milk – or both – but it’s a unique delicately fragranced curd cheese.
Produced only between November and May/June when milk is at its richest, it’s usually served very fresh on its own for dessert. Just add a sprinkling of sugar and a splash of Corsican myrtle Eau de Vie liqueur. Although my mother-in-law, Madeleine, prefers to serve it with a spoonful of fig jam.
Brocciu Cheese Substitutes
It’s difficult to find fresh Brocciu cheese, I know. As it resembles an Italian Ricotta, you could use Ricotta instead (don’t use cottage cheese as this is too lumpy). The saltier the ricotta cheese is, the better – and you have simply a Corsican Ricotta Cake.
One Corsican chef in Calvi (who was kind enough to let me in to his kitchen and chat about the recipes) even suggested I use Faisselle soft cheese for Fiadone, easily available in French supermarkets; it’s good but, as it’s made with cow’s milk, the taste isn’t quite the same!
The best substitute for Brocciu is a really fresh good quality goat’s cheese. There’s nothing to beat Brocciu but we have to do the best we can, right?
Corsican Cheesecake – What is Fiadone?
Fiadone is popular in all Corsican patisseries but perhaps more in the central town of Corte, where it is said to originate, not far from Antoine’s family’s home up in the hills – hidden from the Citadel.
Although we call this a Corsican cheesecake, the Fiadone doesn’t have a biscuit base. Some patisseries serve it in individual pastry cases, called Imbrucciate. Like its name suggests, the Fiadone resembles a flan with 5 simple ingredients: brocciu cheese, eggs, sugar, lemon zest and a touch of Eau de Vie liqueur.
This has to be the most LAZIEST CHEESECAKE on the planet, it’s so easy.
Traditional Corsican Fiadone Recipe
This recipe is such a classic that I certainly can’t claim to owning a typical recipe. So, my own twist to this family dessert is a slight reduction in sugar (as much as I dare without affecting the taste) and replacing the lemon with lime. It may sound like no big deal, but serve this using lime to my Corsican family and it’s like I’ve completely derailed – but Antoine prefers it this way and so I’m sticking with it!
However, don’t even think of adding anything else but citrus to this, otherwise it won’t be a Fiadone. My other tip is not to beat the mixture too much, otherwise it will rise more like a soufflé and break, which is less visually appealing.
Fiadone Corsican Cheesecake
- 500 g (18oz) Brocciu cheese (or a light soft fresh goat’s cheese, ricotta or Faisselle)
- 120 g (4.5oz) Sugar
- 4 Organic eggs medium
- 1 tbsp Grated lime (or lemon) zest from one unwaxed lime
- 2 tsp Myrtle Eau de Vie (or Limoncello)
- Preheat the oven to 220°C/425°F/Gas 7/200°C Fan.
- Break down the Brocciu cheese using a fork. If using Ficelle, strain off the extra liquid in the cheese by placing it in a sieve over a bowl.
- Beat two of the eggs with the sugar just until well mixed (don't beat too much, as the eggs will rise in the oven and it will be more like a soufflé), add the cheese, the zest and eau de vie (or Limoncello) then beat in the other two eggs.
- Pour into a well greased round cake tin (I use 22cm/9 inch diameter) and bake for 25-30 minutes. It will be ready when you insert a knife in the middle and it comes out clean.
- Leave to cool in the tin then turn out onto a serving plate.
NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION: 277 Calories per serving (11g protein) Jill Colonna MadAboutMacarons.com