Torta di Ricotta (Ricotta Tart)

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Lovely, delicately flavoured with orange rind; it’s delicious! Don’t worry about the dough falling apart a bit when you are fitting it into the springform pan, simple patch it together & carry on!

Makes 6 – 8 Servings

For the Pastry Dough:

DSC_1740 nx21 large whole egg
1 large egg yolk
2 tsp. homogenized milk
½ tsp. vanilla extract
2 cups unbleached flour
½ cup sugar
1 Tbsp. baking powder
1/8 tsp. salt
4 oz. + 1 Tbsp. unsalted butter, room temperature
Additional flour for hands & work surface

For the Ricotta Filling:

1 ¾ cups whole, not 2%, ricotta cheese (my preference is Scardillo Genuina brand) it’s creamy & not grainy like other brands.
2 Tbsp. sugar
½ tsp. vanilla extract
1 large egg yolk
1 ½ tsp. freshly grated orange zest
2 Tbsp. whipping cream

Special Equipment: an 8” springform pan with removable bottom

Make the Dough:

In a small mixing bowl combine the whole egg, egg yolk, mils & vanilla; lightly beat together with a fork; set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, baking powder & salt. Add the butter & using a mixer, on low speed, beat until the mixture is crumbly & forms small pea-sized balls. Add the egg mixture to the flour mixture & beat on low speed, until a rough, shaggy mass forms. Lightly dust your hands with flour & knead the dough in the bowl until all the ingredients are well incorporated & the dough is smooth, 1 to 2 minutes. Divide the dough into portions, one portion twice as large as the other. Wrap each portion in plastic wrap & chill for 30 minutes.

Grease an 8” springform pan with 2” high sides, with butter; set aside. On a lightly floured work surface, roll out the larger piece of dough into a 12” round; fold the dough in half, using a scraper to lift under the dough if it sticks & lift into the springform pan. Gently press the pastry onto the bottom & sides of the pan. Try & avoid stretching the dough or it may shrink during baking. Chill the pastry shell while you prepare the filling.

Preheat the oven to 350 F.

Make the Filling:

In a large mixing bowl combine the ricotta, sugar, vanilla, egg yolk, orange zest & cream using either a hand-held mixer or combine the ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer. Beat the mixture on medium speed until it’s smooth & fluffy, approximately 2 minutes. Pour the filling into the pastry-lined pan & level top with an off-set spatula or other spatula.

Using a sharp knife trim the pastry to that it reaches ½” above the level of the filling, then carefully fold the ½” edge inward to that it rests on top of the filling. On a lightly floured work surface, roll out the remaining dough ball into a 1/8” round; cut out an an 8”circle using a 8” pan or plate to do so. Gently lift up the pastry round, using a scraper if it sticks a bit; place the round directly on top of the filling. If you wish you can use any leftover pastry bits to cut out decorative shapes such as leaves, stars or half-moons. Brush the bottom of the cutouts with a little water & then place the cutout on top of the crust.

Bake the torta in the preheated oven until golden brown, about 1 hour. Depending on your oven, you may want to place the torta on a rimmed baking pan so it doesn’t burn on the bottom. When baked remove from the oven to a wire rack & let cool completely in the pan. Unclasp & remove the pan sides. If you wish you can use a spatula to loosen the torta from the pan bottom & slide in onto a serving plate. Or, you can just place it as is on the serving plate; it’s up to you. Store at room temperature for up to 4 hours; if keeping longer, place in the fridge then remove an hour or so before serving to bring up to room temperature.

Phyllis Signature

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