Cheese Pie {crostata Di Ricotta}

Ingrients & Directions -PASTRY CRUST-PASTA FROLLA 2 c Unsifted all purpose -flour. 12 tb Lard or butter,at room -temperature but not soft. 4 Egg yolks. 1/4 c Sugar. 3 tb Dry marsala wine. 1 ts Freshly grated lemon peel. 1/2 ts Salt. -RICOTTA FILLING 5 c Ricotta cheese. 1/2 c […]

Ingrients & Directions

2 c Unsifted all purpose
12 tb Lard or butter,at room
-temperature but not soft.
4 Egg yolks.
1/4 c Sugar.
3 tb Dry marsala wine.
1 ts Freshly grated lemon peel.
1/2 ts Salt.
5 c Ricotta cheese.
1/2 c Sugar.
1 tb Flour.
1/2 ts Salt.
1 ts Vanilla extract.
1 ts Freshly grated orange
4 Egg yolks.
1 tb White raisins,rinsed and
1 tb Diced candied citron.
2 tb Slivered blanched almonds
-or pine nuts.
1 Egg white mixed with 1
-tablespoon water.


In a large mixing bowl,make a well in the center of two cups of flour.Drop
into it the butter {or
lard} ,egg yolks,sugar, Marsala, lemon peel and salt.With your
fingertips mix the ingredients together,incorporating as much flour as you
can.With the heels of your hands,work in the rest of the flour until the
dough is smooth and can be gathered into a ball.Do not, however,knead the
dough or work it any more than necessary.{If you have an electric mixer
with a paddle attachment,all of the ingredients can be placed in the bowl
at once and mixed at low speed until they are just combined.}The dough can
be rolled out at once, but if it seems at all oily,refrigerate it for about
1 hour,or until it is firm but not hard.

Pre-heat the oven to 350^.Break off about 1/4 of the dough,dust lightly
with flour and cover with wax paper or plastic wrap ;set aside in the
refrigerator.Reshape the rest of the dough into a ball and place on a
lightly floured board or pastry cloth.With the heel of your hand,flatten
the ball into a disc about 1 inch thick.Dust a little flour over both sides
of the disc to prevent the dough from sticking,and begin rolling it
out—starting from the center and rolling to within an inch of the far
edge.Gently lift the dough,turn clockwise,and roll out again from the
center to the far edge.Repeat lifting,turning and rolling until the disc is
about 1/8 inch thick and at least 11 inches across.If the dough sticks to
the board or cloth while you are rolling it out,lift it gently with a wide
metal spatula and sprinkle a little flour under it.

Lightly butter the bottom and sides of a 9-by-11/2-inch spring-form or
false-bottom cake pan.Then,starting at the nearest edge of the circle,lift
the pastry and drape it over the rolling pin. Place the pin in the middle
of the buttered pan,and unfold the pastry over it,leaving some slack in the
center.Gently press the pastry into the bottom and around the sides of the
pan,taking care not to stretch it.Roll the pin over the edge of the
pan,pressing down hard to trim off the excess pastry around the top.

Unwrap the remaining pastry,place it on a lightly floured board or
cloth,flattenit with the heel of your hand and roll it into a rectangle
about 12 inches long.With a pastry wheel or sharp knife,cut the rectangle
into long,even strips about 12 inch wide. INSTRUCTIONS:RICOTTA FILLING –

Combine the ricotta cheese with 1 2 cup of sugar,1 tablespoon flour,1 2
teaspoon salt,the vanilla,grated orange peel and egg yolks,and beat until
they are thoroughly mixed.Stir in the raisins and the candied orange peel
and citron.Spoon this filling into the partially baked pastry
shell,spreading it evenly with a rubber spatula.Sprinkle the top with
slivered almonds or pine nuts,then weave or crisscross the pastry strips
across the pie to make a lattice design.Brush the strips lightly with the
egg-white -an d-water mixture.Bake on the middle shelf of the oven for 1 to
1&1/4 ho urs,or until the crust is golden and the filling is firm.

Remove the pie from the oven and slide off the outside the outside rim of
the pan.Cool the pie on a wire rack,leaving the bottom disc in place.If you
would prefer to remove the disc before serving the pie,wait until the pie
is cool,loosen the bottom crust with a wide metal spatula, and carefully
slide the pie off the disc onto a round serving plate.

Fresh fruits like white grapes,served with crostata di ricotta,make a
tangy, sweet contrast to the richness of the pie. Crostata di ricotta is
one of the oldest Roman dishes.

From the files of Al Rice, North Pole Alaska. Feb 1994


1 Servings


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