Real Food

Savor the flavors of everyday real food, fresh from the garden or stored on your pantry shelves.

Crostate di Ricotta, Ricotta Cheesecake or Ricotta Pie?

3/27/2012 9:45:33 AM

Tags: Crostate di Ricotta, Ricotta Pie, Ricotta Cheesecake, Sue Van Slooten, Rome, Etruscans, ricotta, Easter, Italy, , Sue Van Slooten

Roman ruinsGreetings, and Happy Spring to all! We’ve made it through another winter. With that in mind, I wanted to come up with something yummy and unusual for Easter, as well as a little side trip to sunny Italy. As you can see by the title, this is a dessert that can be considered many things:  Pie? Cheesecake? Torte? Probably not the latter. I would consider it a cross between a pie and a cheesecake.

This is also a dessert with a history. A long one. One source consulted many years ago says it goes back to the early days of the Roman Empire, but in another source I looked at that same time said it goes back even further, to Etruscan times. They were the forebears of the Romans, and gave their name to the famous Tuscany of today. Also you see the use of sugar below, and that is a modern adaptation, the Etruscans would have used honey. Feel free to experiment there. So there you have it, another history lesson with your recipe. Without further adieu:

Ricotta Cheesecake 

For the pastry: 

¾ cup flour (can be white, or 50/50 whole wheat/white*)1/3 cup butter, preferably2 tbsp sugarPinch salt 

* I happen to believe a 50/50 mix would also be more authentic, as my research has shown they wouldn’t have had pure white flour. It probably wouldn’t have been as heavy as pure whole wheat flour either, and it’s also possible they may have used some rice flour. 

For the filling: 

1 1/2 pounds ricotta cheese (any style)
1/2 cup sugar
3 tbsp flour
1/2 tsp cinnamon, optional
3 eggs
 
1 tsp grated orange peel (mixing in some lemon is good too, I use both)
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp salt
 
2 tbsp golden raisins
2 tbsp cut-up citron
2 tbsp chopped almonds (preferably blanched)
Powdered sugar and cinnamon, to dust
   

For the pastry: Blend together with a pastry blender all ingredients, and pat into an ungreased 9-inch springform pan. (10-inch will work if you don’t have a 9, just watch (shorten) your baking time.) Bake at 450 F for about 5 minutes.     

For the filling: Mix the cheese, sugar, flour, eggs, orange peel, vanilla and salt in a large mixer bowl until creamy and smooth. Add in your raisins, citron, and almonds. Some people add in a handful of chocolate chips, if that is your raison d’état, go ahead. It’s just not authentic. Pour into pastry lined pan and bake at 350 F for 75 or 90 minutes, until the center is set and the top is golden brown. Don’t over bake it, or it will come out like leather. Cook on rack. Chill for 12 to 24 hours, then remove outer rim. Sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar if desired. 



Related Content

Sourdough, Part 2

This is the second part of our foray into sourdough baking. Here are tips and insight on sourdough t...

Plumbing Fixtures That Conserve

We have slowly replaced out dated fixtures and the Rialto toilet was the final step in getting more ...

From the Iron Skillet: Homemade Fried Pies

Simple and old-fashioned, homemade fried pies are a good Sunday afternoon dessert that even the kids...

Fresh Chevre Cheesecake Recipe

Made from creamy chevre (fresh goat cheese) instead of the typical cream cheese, this surprising che...

Content Tools
RSS




Post a comment below.

 










Subscribe Today - Pay Now & Save 66% Off the Cover Price

First Name: *
Last Name: *
Address: *
City: *
State/Province: *
Zip/Postal Code:*
Country:
Email:*
(* indicates a required item)
Canadian subs: 1 year, (includes postage & GST). Foreign subs: 1 year, . U.S. funds.
Canadian Subscribers - Click Here
Non US and Canadian Subscribers - Click Here

Lighten the Strain on the Earth and Your Budget

MOTHER EARTH NEWS is the guide to living — as one reader stated — “with little money and abundant happiness.” Every issue is an invaluable guide to leading a more sustainable life, covering ideas from fighting rising energy costs and protecting the environment to avoiding unnecessary spending on processed food. You’ll find tips for slashing heating bills; growing fresh, natural produce at home; and more. MOTHER EARTH NEWS helps you cut costs without sacrificing modern luxuries.

At MOTHER EARTH NEWS, we are dedicated to conserving our planet’s natural resources while helping you conserve your financial resources. That’s why we want you to save money and trees by subscribing through our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. By paying with a credit card, you save an additional $5 and get 6 issues of MOTHER EARTH NEWS for only $12.00 (USA only).

You may also use the Bill Me option and pay $17.00 for 6 issues.