Quick and easy Fiadone Cheesecake – one of the most popular Corsican desserts using Brocciu (goat’s or ricotta) cheese, eggs, sugar and lemon.  Recipe continuously tested and approved by my Corsican husband!

slice of fiadone cheesecake

Fiadone: Most Popular of Corsican Desserts

As soon as the temperature drops in Autumn, fresh Brocciu cheese appears at our local market. So I love to celebrate its arrival by making a Fiadone Corsican Cheesecake.

Fiadone is found on just about every Corsican dessert menu and every family has their recipe, including my husband’s. It’s also popular in all Corsican bakeries.  It’s said to have originated in the central town of Corte, but each time I ask in the patisseries in town (it’s not far from Antoine’s family’s home up in the hills, hidden from Corte’s Citadel), I don’t get any clear answer.  So I’ll report back here one day when I get further in my gourmet research.

Citadel Corte Corsica

What is Fiadone?

Pronounced Fee-a-don, the Fiadone is said to have come from the Italian Fiadoni flans. Corsican cuisine is largely inspired by Italian cuisine, thanks to its history and so its main ingredient is like ricotta rather than using a cream cheese. Although we call this a Corsican cheesecake, the Fiadone doesn’t have a biscuit base. Some pâtisseries – especially around Ajaccio – serve it in individual pastry cases with a tart base, called Imbrucciate.

Like its name suggests, the Fiadone resembles a flan with 4-5 simple ingredients: brocciu cheese, eggs, sugar, lemon zest and/or a touch of Eau de Vie liqueur.

How is a Ricotta Cheesecake Different to a Regular Cheesecake?

Like an Italian-style ricotta cheesecake, the Fiadone is different to regular (New York) cheesecake in that it doesn’t use cream cheese.  What’s more, there’s no biscuit base like a regular cheesecake.  Instead it is served as it is, as a plain cake of ricotta (or rather, Corsican Brocciu) cheese, as it were! That’s why I call it a lazy cheesecake.

What Does Fiadone Taste Like?


Fiadone has a particularly rustic texture due to the main ingredient of brocciu cheese or ricotta. With the eggs, there’s a soft and squeeky bite to it. The cheese isn’t strong, so the taste is very light and the taste of lemon shines through in the aftertaste but shouldn’t be strong either.

sheep and goats in Corsica

What is Brocciu Corsican Cheese?

Antoine’s Corsican family, like many on the Île de Beauté, serves this typical family dessert in the winter and spring months. Why? It’s due to the main ingredient, Brocciu.

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.

unbaked cheesecake topped with lemon verbena leaves

Brocciu Cheese Recipes

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.

As a result, Brocciu is served fresh in the following ways as a typical family dessert:

  • a sprinkling of sugar and a splash of Corsican myrtle Eau de Vie liqueur;
  • With mountain honey (Corsican honey is strong, coming mainly from the Châtaigniers – see page on chestnuts);
  • A spoonful of chestnut purée;
  • Serve it with a spoonful of Corsican fig jam, just like my mother-in-law does.

Corsican Fiadone #Ricotta #Cheesecake

Corsican Brocciu Substitutes?

As it’s difficult to find fresh Brocciu cheese, here are some substitutes.

  • As brocciu resembles an Italian Ricotta, use Ricotta instead. (Don’t use cottage cheese as this is too lumpy).
  • One Corsican chef in Calvi (who was kind enough to let me in to his kitchen and chat about the recipes) even suggested Faisselle for Fiadone, a soft cheese easily available in French supermarkets. Although it’s good, it’s made with cow’s milk, so the taste isn’t quite the same. However, it’s not far off and still tastes delicious.
  • The best substitute for Brocciu is a really good quality goat’s cheese – plus the freshest you can find.  There’s nothing to beat Brocciu but we have to do the best we can, right?

Fiadone Corsican Cheesecake

This has to be the most LAZIEST CHEESECAKE on the planet, it’s so easy.

Authentic Corsican Fiadone Recipe

This recipe is such a classic that I certainly can’t claim to owning a typical recipe. So, my own twist is a 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. However, 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.

Cooking tips

  • Don’t beat the mixture too much, otherwise it will rise more like a soufflé and break, which is less visually appealing.
  • If you prefer your Fiadone cheesecake with more caramelised edges, then bake it in a metallic tin to heat the edges more.

thin slice of Corsican cheesecake on flowery plate with lemon verbena

slice of fiadone cheesecake

Fiadone Corsican Cheesecake

Author: Jill Colonna
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time40 mins
Course : Breakfast, Dessert, Picnics
Cuisine : French, Corsican
Keyword : Corsican cheesecake, fiadone recipe, corsican ricotta cake
Servings : 6 people
Calories : 277kcal

Description

Light and fluffy Fiadone Cheesecake - a quick and easy Corsican dessert using Brocciu ewe's milk (or ricotta) cheese and laced with lemon.

Ingredients

  • 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)

Instructions

  • 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.

Notes

Serve chilled or at room temperature.
Fiadone can apparently last for up to a week when chilled in the fridge but I have to admit we have never managed to wait that long, especially as it’s also delicious for breakfast!
NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION: 277 Calories per serving (11g protein)

This post was first published 3 November 2016 but has now been updated with more explanations and new images

Have you made this recipe?

I’d love to know how it turned out. Please let me know by leaving a review below (you can now rate it!).
It means so much to have your support.
On Instagram? Share a photo and tag @JillColonna and hashtag it #madaboutmacaronsÀ bientôt!

From the market

From the kitchen

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Comments (12)

HI Jill, I want to make this! Just checking when to add the cheese. The recipe skips over this bit. Thank you. Lainie

So glad you want to make this, Lainie – and thank you for showing me about adding the cheese to the recipe. It doesn’t really matter when you add it, to be totally honest – but I’ve now updated it. Merci J x

Thank you! BTW- I loved the video of you serenading your parents. x

Hehe – too funny you saw it! I was going to take it down, too… thanks, Lainie x

Enjoyed your explanation. Looks lovely. A real Corsican treat

Thanks so much, Lesley. I hope you make this too!

Fiadone looks fantastic, and I can’t believe how easy it is to make!! It’s like a cross between an Italian cheesecake and British posset, so I can imagine that it tastes fabulous, too!

Thanks for another brilliantly simple yet delicious recipe, Jill! Now I just need to go taste the real thing in Corsica! 🙂

I often am amazed myself just how quick and easy this is when it tastes so good, Christina. Thanks – just don’t tell Madeleine about the lime 😉