Cook Italian - Real Recipes
Category 
Real Recipes
December, 2013
Posted by 
Valentina Bertazzoni

Torta di ricotta

The history of ricotta cheese has been lost in the mists of time.
Being a favourite food of kings and shepherds alike, it was already known to the Egyptians and the Sumerians. Ricotta cheese derives its name from the Latin word recocta - that is cooked twice - as is the case with whey during the manufacturing process.
Every year, for centuries, fresh ricotta cheese arrived in town on November 25th, St. Catherine’s Day, to the tune of a pastoral. It was carried, in wicker baskets, by pipers coming down from their pastures up on the mountains to roam around the streets playing their bagpipes and shawms. To date, on the days leading up to Christmas, pipers arrive in town to the loud sound of their ancient instruments, wearing clothes that seem to emerge from a Nativity scene, to announce to everyone that Christmas is finally upon us!

Ingredients:
For the filling
2 egg yolks
50 g (1.7 oz) sugar
600 g (21.1 oz) ricotta cheese
100 g (3.5 oz) pine nuts
50 g (1.7 oz) raisins
100 g (3.5 oz) candied fruit
1 small glass of brandy

For the pastry

2 egg yolks
200 g (7 oz) flour
50 g (1.7 oz) butter
50 g (1.7 oz) sugar
a pinch of vanilla-flavoured baking powder
a pinch of salt
icing sugar

First of all, prepare the pastry: pour the flour and the sugar onto a wooden board, leaving a well in the center. Cut the butter into small pieces, then put them into the well, together with the egg yolks, a pinch of salt and a pinch of vanilla-flavoured baking powder. Knead the dough until smooth. Form a ball, cover it and let it stand in the fridge for half an hour.
Then prepare the filling: put the raisins into the glass of brandy to soften, then whisk the egg yolks with the sugar. Fold in the ricotta cheese, half of the pine nuts, half of the candied fruit, all of the raisins and the brandy, then blend together. Remove the pastry from the fridge, roll it out with a rolling pin and spread it over a lightly buttered baking pan. Pour the filling onto the pastry and bake the cake in a Bertazzoni fan-assisted oven, at a 356 ° F temperature, for 40 minutes. Remove the cake from the oven and let it cool, then cover with icing sugar and decorate it with the remaining pine nuts and candied fruit. Serve and enjoy! Merry Christmas and a Happy Holiday Season!!!