Crostata Di Ricotta
|For pastry dough|
|Plain flour||1⁄2 Pound, unsifted|
|Lard/Butter||6 Ounce (at room temperature but not soft)|
|Castor sugar||2 Ounce|
|Dry marsala||2 1⁄2 Tablespoon|
|Freshly grated lemon rind||1 Teaspoon (scant)|
|Ricotta cheese/Curd / cottage cheese / combination||2 Pound, rubbed through a sieve, mixed with 4 tablespoons double cream|
|Castor sugar||1⁄4 Pound|
|Flour||2 1⁄2 Teaspoon|
|Vanilla essence||1 Teaspoon (scant)|
|Grated orange rind||1 Teaspoon (scant, fresh)|
|Sultanas||1 Tablespoon, rinsed and drained (scant)|
|Diced candied orange peel||1 Tablespoon|
|Diced candied lemon peel||1 Tablespoon|
|Slivered blanched almonds/Pine kernels||2 Tablespoon|
|Egg white||1 , beaten with 2 1/2 teaspoons water|
1. To make the pastry dough, in a large bowl, make a well in the centre of 1/2 lb. of flour.
2. At the centre of flour, drop in butter (or lard), egg yolks, sugar, Marsala, lemon rind and salt.
3. Mix the ingredients together. Try incorporating as much flour as you can.
4. Work in the rest of the flour with the heels of your hands until the dough is smooth and can be gathered into a ball.
5. Roll the dough at once, but if it seems at all oily, refrigerate it for about 1 hour, until it is firm but not hard.
6. Preheat the oven to Mark 4: 350°F.
7. Break off about 1/4 of the dough. Dust the dough lightly with flour. Cover it with greaseproof paper or put it in a plastic bag; put aside in the refrigerator.
8. On a lightly floured board or table, place the rest of the dough after reshaping it.
9. Flatten the ball into a disc about 1 inch thick.
10. Dust flour on both sides, to prevent the dough from sticking.
11. Begin rolling out the dough-€”starting from the centre and rolling to within an inch of the far edge.
12. Gently lift the dough, turn clockwise, and roll out again from the centre to the far edge.
13. Repeat lifting, turning and rolling until the disc is about 1/8 inch thick and at least 11 inches across.
14. You can gently lift the dough with a palette knife and sprinkle a little flour underneath, if the dough sticks to the board or table while you are rolling it out.
15. Take 9-by-1 1/2-inch spring-form or false-bottom cake tin, and lightly butter its bottom and sides.
16. Then, starting at the nearest edge of the circle, lift the pastry and drape it over the rolling pin.
17. In the middle of buttered pan, place the pin. Unfold the pastry over it, leaving some slack in the centre.
18. Gently press the pastry into the bottom and around the sides of the pan. Take care not to stretch it.
19. Over the rim of the pan roll the pin, pressing down hard to trim off the excess pastry around the top.
20. On a lightly floured board or table, unwrap and the rest of the pastry.
21. With the heel of your hand flatten it and roll it into a rectangle about 12 inches long.
22. With a pastry wheel or sharp knife, cut into long strips about 1/2 inch wide.
23. To make the Ricotta Filling : In a bowl, combine ricotta cheese with the sugar, flour, salt, vanilla essence, grated orange rind and egg yolks.
24. Beat the ingredients, until they are thoroughly mixed.
25. Stir in the sultanas and the candied orange and lemon peel.
26. Into the pastry shell, spoon this filling.
27. With the help of a rubber spatula, spread the mixture evenly.
28. Sprinkle the top with slivered almonds or pine kernels.
29. Weave or criss-cross the pastry strips across the pie to make a lattice design.
30. Brush the strips lightly with the egg white and water mixture.
31. Place it in centre of the preheated oven, and bake for 1 to 1 1/4 hours, until the crust is golden and the filling is firm.
32. Remove the pie from the oven.
33. Take a large jar or coffee tin and put pie on it.
34. Then slide off the outside rim of the pan.
35. On a wire cake rack, cool the pie, leaving the bottom disc of the pan in place.
36. Allow the pie to cool and remove the disc before serving. Loosen the bottom crust with the blade of a palette knife, and carefully slide the pie off on to a round serving dish.
37. Serve Crostata Di Ricotta while warm