Jo’El and I were both raised with Sicilian traditions. So, picking one recipe from all the memories we had as children was tough.
Sicily, the largest island in the Mediterranean, has a long history of being invaded and conquered. But in typical Sicilian fashion, it has made them tougher and created inspiration from around the world for so many of their renowned dishes.
Anything with ricotta (Riggota in Italian) tops the list. You cannot beat the moist, sweet flavors that come out when you use it in desserts.
Torta Di Ricotta – ricotta cake
- 100g unsalted butter, chopped (a little more than 7 tablespoons)
- 3/4 cup (165g) caster sugar
- 3 eggs
- 11/2 cups (225g) plain flour
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 450g fresh ricotta (a heaping 1 3/4 c)
- 100g cream cheese, at room temperature (less than 1/2 cup)
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- Finely grated zest of 1/2 lemon
- Icing sugar, to serve
- To make the pastry, beat butter and 1/4 cup (55g) sugar in a stand mixer until smooth and combined. Beat in 1 egg until well combined. Fold in flour, baking powder, a pinch of salt flakes, and 2 tsp iced water. Enclose in plastic wrap and chill for 2 hours.
- Preheat oven to 200°C. Roll out pastry between 2 sheets of baking paper to 3mm thick. Use to line the base and side of a 22cm, loose-bottomed, fluted tart pan, trimming any excess, then freeze for 10 minutes. Line pastry with baking paper and pastry weights, place on a baking tray and bake for 20 minutes or until edges are lightly golden. Remove weights and paper, and bake for a further 10 minutes or until the base is golden. Remove from oven and cool slightly. Reduce oven to 150°C.
- To make the filling, beat ricotta and cream cheese in a stand mixer until smooth. Beat in vanilla, lemon zest, remaining 1/2 cup (110g) sugar and remaining 2 eggs, then pour into tart shell. Bake for 30 minutes or until pastry is golden and ricotta is set with a gentle wobble in the center. Cool to room temperature, then chill for 2 hours. Dust with icing sugar to serve.
I bet this would be delicious with the Viennese coffee recipe form a few weeks ago!