Sunday, 30 May 2010

Torta di Ricotta my way

Torta di ricotta is an Italian version of cheesecake but it a very light one compared with the usual American version. In the picture you can see a fairly yellow cheesecake and this is because the eggs in Italy are a beautiful yellow colour and all of the things that are made with them look delicious.

This kind of cake often has pine nuts sprinkled on top but, while I like pine nuts on things, they are expensive in Italy and I prefer almonds so that is what I used.

What you will need:
150 g flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
75g softened butter
50g sugar

250g tub of ricotta
grated rind of 1 orange
100g sugar
100ml double cream
3 medium eggs
1 teaspoon of cornflour
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
apricot jam
flaked almonds
icing sugar

Make the pastry by rubbing the ingredients for the pastry together and add a little water to bind.
Roll out and line a greased, deep flan dish. I used an 8 inch dish that was about 2 inches deep.
Bake blind for about 15 minutes and remove from the oven. When the pastry case has cooled a little spread a thin layer of jam on the base.

For the filling
Bring the cream to scalding point.
Blend the sugar the eggs and the cornflour and pour on the hot cream, stirring well to avoid getting any of those so annoying lumps.
Add the ricotta, the grated rind of 1 orange and vanilla essence and mix quickly together to get a smooth cream.
Pour over the jam lined pastry and sprinkle with as many flaked almonds as you like.
Cook at 160C for about 30 mins. The cooking time really will depend on your oven. What you need to aim for is a filling that is set but still slightly wobbly. It will set up as it cools.
When cool dust with icing sugar and enjoy.