A rich, creamy dessert - a forkful of cannoli without the shell.
Yield: 16 servings
Preheat oven to 350° F. Lightly grease and flour an 8 inch springform pan
. Tap out the excess flour. Wrap the outside of the pan with heavy duty aluminum foil, molding it tightly around the pan to prevent water from getting in.
Process ricotta cheese in a food processor
, scraping down the sides once or twice, until it is completely smooth. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, sugar, flour, vanilla extract and grated orange peel until blended. Stir in the ricotta. Blend until smooth.
Pour batter into prepared pan and spread evenly. Sprinkle chocolate chips over the top. Place the springform pan into a large roasting pan in the oven. Pour hot tap water into the roasting pan to a depth of 1 inch. Bake for 1 1/2 hours or until top of the cheesecake is golden and the cake pulls away slightly from the sides of the pan (the middle will still jiggle slightly when pressed lightly).
Turn off heat and prop open the oven door about an inch. Let cake cool in the oven for about 45 minutes, not disturbing it. Remove from the oven, then remove foil. Cool completely on wire rack. Cover the whole thing and refrigerate overnight or up to one week.
Up to 3 hours before serving, carefully run a long thin knife around the inside edge of the pan to loosen the cheesecake. Remove sides of pan. Brush top of cake with half the melted preserves. Top with a layer of the orange slices and brush with remaining preserves. Sprinkle with pistachios.