Fresh Ricotta is delivered to Rome from the surrounding countryside every morning and is used in many sweets or pasta stuffing. Roman sheep Ricotta is very sweet and tasty and can be enjoyed by itself with some espresso coffee or jam.
Ricotta Cheese Cake is a typical Roman dessert with roots that go way back in time. Can be enriched by adding candied fruit, raisin or chocolate chips.
for the dough
2 1/2 cups (300 g) flour
3/4 cup (150 g) sugar
6 oz (150 g) butter, diced (at room temperature)
1 whole egg and one yolk
1 teaspoon vanilla
pinch of salt
for the egg wash
1 egg white
1 teaspoon milk
for the filling
2 eggs, separated
3/4 lb (300 g) ricotta cheese,
drained of its water in a colander
1/2 cup (100 g) sugar
2 – 3 tablespoons Rum liquor
one cup (150 g) candied fruit, diced
1/2 cup (50 g) raisins,
soaked in warm water and drained
2 oz (60 g) pine nuts
grated rind of one lemon
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Preparing the dough
Pour the flour on a work surface, in a mound shape with a hole in the center. Add in the well the sugar, diced butter, one egg, one egg yolk, vanilla, and a pinch of salt.
Mix the ingredients, combine the flour . . .
. . . and knead to form a smooth dough.
Shape like a smooth ball, cover with plastic wrap, and place in the refrigerator for about one hour.
Separate the yolks from the whites and reserve the whites.
Put the ricotta cheese, sugar, and egg yolks in a bowl. Mix them together to obtain a smooth cream. Stir in the “amaretti” crumbs, rum, candied fruit, and raisins.
Beat the reserved egg whites in a bowl until stiff. Combine egg whites to the mix, stirring gently with a top to bottom motion.
Assembling the cake
Preheat the oven to 375 F (190 C). Butter a 10“ pan with a removable bottom, and sprinkle it with a small amount of flour. Remove the dough from the refrigerator. Cut one third of the dough and reserve.
Reduce the dough to ¼” (0.5 cm) thick disk with the help of a rolling pin.
Place the dough over the pan ...
... and cover bottom and sides of the pan with the dough, trimming the dough evenly around the edges.
Prick the surface of the pastry evenly with a fork. This step is necessary to prevent the dough from puffing while baking.
Fill with the ricotta cheese mixture, and level with a spatula.
Reduce the rest of the dough to ¼” (0.5 cm) thick and cut strips ¾” (2 cm) wide. Place the strips on the cake, crossing them in a diamond pattern.
One last strip is to be placed as closure all around the border of the pan.
Prepare the egg wash lightly beating the egg white and the milk together in a small bowl. Brush the egg wash on the dough strips.
Bake for about 35-40 minutes.Let the cake cool at room temperature, and un-mould. Serve lukewarm.