Crostata di ricotta
This crostata di ricotta recipe makes a kind of Italian cheesecake, but not as sweet, rich and creamy as traditional American cheesecakes.
– Is that some kind of Italian cheese cake? a friend asked when introduced to a crostata di ricotta recipe, and although I have never thought of it that way before, I guess she is right. At least if you accept the Wikipedia definition of ‘dessert consisting of a topping made of soft, fresh cheese on a base made from biscuit, pastry or sponge.‘
Still, the Italian version is more like a pie, and it’s not as sweet, rich and creamy as American style cheese cakes. In fact, I find it a bit on the dry side, which is why I add a layer of fruit puree or marmalade beneath the ricotta. That way the result becomes truly delicious.
For the pastry
250 g flour
½ tsb salt
125 g cold butter
For the filling
250 g ricotta
100 g sugar
Grated lemon zest
200 ml fruit puree or marmalade
Mix flour and salt for the pie pastry. Add cold butter and cut it to pieces in the flour. Rub the ingredients together until they resemble fine bread crumbs.
Add a drop of cold water and squeeze to make the dough hold together.
Put the pastry in a plastic bag and leave it in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
Grease an oven-proof pie disk with butter. Place the dough between two pieces of cling-film, and roll it out in a circle that can be used to line the pan.
Trim the edges of the pie crust, prick it with a fork, andcover with baking paper fill with dried beans.
Blind-bake the crust in a pre-heated oven at 175 C (350 F) for 20 minutes.
Meanwhile prepare the filling.
Beat egg whites until they are stiff.
Beat egg yolks white with sugar and gradually stir in the ricotta.
Fold the stiff egg whites and grated lemon zest into the ricotta-egg yolk-sugar mixture.
Take the pie crust out of the oven. Remove baking paper and the dried beans.
Cover the pie crust with a layer of jam (strawberry, blueberry, raspberry, rhubarb or any other red-blue fruit combination)
Top with ricotta mixture and continue baking for another 25-30 minutes.
More ways to use ricotta than this crostata di ricotta recipe