Ricotta Pie Crostata di Ricotta alla Romana
Serves 8 to 10
2 tablespoons dark rum
Sweet Pastry(recipe on
1 pound 2 ounces fresh ricotta,
drained (510 g)
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
1 whole egg
2 egg yolks
Grated zest of 1 lemon
2 +1/2 tablespoons diced candied
orange peel, optional (50 g)
1 tablespoon diced candied
1/3 cup pine nuts, lightly toasted
Tand not only by the Romans. Ri means “again” and cotta means “cooked”; the name refers to how ricotta is made,
“cooked again.” The fresh sheeps’ milk is heated, almost to boiling, with a small piece of lamb’s intestine for the
rennet. Pecorino cheese is formed from this first heating. (The cheeses will be eaten fresh with olive oil and freshly ground black pepper or aged for several months for grating.) The whey is then reheated again almost to boiling, and the curds are put into the small willow baskets that allow the residual whey to seep out.
There is nothing better than fresh ricotta eaten as is or with very little accompaniment (see page 297). It was once a usual breakfast dish in Rome but now is more often eaten as a dessert. This crostatais the most Roman of all the Roman desserts. The pastryrecipe is a little different from others in that it uses only lard.
1 In a small bowl, soak the raisins in the rum. If the raisins are hard, warm the rum slightly.
2 Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Butter and flour a 10-inch (25-cm) springform pan. Make the pastry.
3 While the pasta is resting, make the filling: Either sieve the drained ricotta or pass it through a food mill. Put the ricotta into a bowl, add the sugar, and mix well. Add the whole egg, egg yolks, and lemon zest; blend well. Stir in the raisins with the rum, candied orange peel, and citron, if using, and pine nuts.
4 Set aside about one-quarter of the pastry to make lattice strips for the top of the pie. Dust the work surface with a little flour and roll out the remaining pastry as thin as possible. With the help of a spatula, drape the pastry over the rolling pin, and unroll it onto the prepared springform pan. Trim the sides.
5 Pour the filling into the pastry-lined pan. Roll out the reserved pastry, cut it into strips 2 inches wide, and make a lattice over the top of the pie. Crimp the edges.
6 Bake the pie for 40 to 45 minutes, or until the crust is light brown. Let cool on a rack for 15 minutes before removing the rim of the pan. Let cool completely before removing the bottom. Serve at room temperature. Refrigerate any leftover pie