I consider Crostata Di Ricotta as the Italian version of cheesecake. This is a very light and airy dessert that is fairly simple to make. The most difficult part is the pastry, and even that’s not too hard to make. The Ricotta gives the pie a nice texture and the lemon zest adds just enough tartness. I even added a teaspoon of Limoncello. That’s optional, of course. The kids were skeptical when I told them it had cheese in it, until they tried it. It was enjoyed by all.
Step 1 – The pastry Dough
This is an Italian recipe, so I had to convert grams into ounces for those of us on this side of the pond. You will see both listed in this recipe. In a large mixing bowl, add 500 grams (17 ounces) of all-purpose flour and 200 grams (7 0unces) of sugar.
In another mixing bowl, add 200 grams (7 ounces) of unsalted butter, 1 whole egg and 3 egg yolks and lemon zest. Lightly mix until combined.
Now, add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients.
Knead into a dough.
Make into a ball.
Cover with plastic wrap and let rest for 30 minutes before using.
Step 2 – The filling
In a mixing bowl, whip 3 egg whites and 125 grams (4 ounces) of sugar, until you have stiff white peaks.
In a separate bowl, whip 900 grams (31 ounces) of well drained, whole milk ricotta, the remaining 125 grams (4 ounces) of sugar and the zest of one lemon. You can add a teaspoon of Limoncello for a little more lemon taste. This is optional.
Gently fold the ricotta mixture into the whipped egg whites.
It should look something like this.
Now it’s time to roll out your dough. Cut the ball of dough in half. You are going to make a bottom and top for your crostata.
Roll out your dough to just under 1/4 inch thickness or thinner.
Roll over your tart or pie pan and place it nicely.
Now, it’s ready to be filled.
Carefully fill the plate with the ricotta filling. Be careful not to get the filling on the edges of the pie crust or it won’t seal well.
Now roll the top with the remaining pastry dough.
Seal the top with your dough. Trim the excess pastry from the edges.
Bake at 350 degrees F. for 20 – 30 minutes, depending on oven and pan used. Cool on a wire rack and refrigerate for at least one hour before serving.
500 grams (17 ounces) all-purpose flour
200 grams (7 ounces) sugar
200 grams (7 ounces ) unsalted butter
3 egg yolks
1 large whole egg
zest of 1 lemon
3 egg whites
250 grams (8 ounces) sugar
900 grams (31 ounces) fresh ricotta (well drained)
zest of 1 lemon
1 teaspoon of Limoncello (optional)
In a large mixing bowl, add flour and sugar. In another bowl, combine the butter, whole egg, egg yolks and zest of 1 lemon. This is where you can add the optional teaspoon of Limoncello. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and knead into a dough. Make into a ball, cover with plastic wrap, and set aside for 30 minutes.
For the filling, whip the egg whites and half the sugar until you have stiff white peaks. In a separate bowl, whip the ricotta, remaining sugar and zest of 1 lemon. Now gently fold the ricotta mixture into the egg whites.
Roll out your dough and press into pie plate. Fill with the ricotta filling. With the remaining pastry dough, roll out a top to your pie, and seal. Trim the excess dough from the edges. Place into preheated oven at 350 degrees F. and bake for 20 – 30 minutes, depending on your oven and pan used. Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack and then refrigerate before serving.