Ricotta tart with dried fruit
Italian cake

Ricotta Tart With Dried Fruit

Ricotta is a dairy product, not a cheese. Its name comes from “ri-cotta”, which means that the whey — a by-product of cheese-making — is cooked twice. Ricotta dates back to Roman times, and each region in Italy uses it in different ways.

Ricotta tart with dried fruit

  • 40 minutes preparation time
  • 40–60 minutes cooking time
  • 2 hours 30 minutes refrigeration time
  • 20 minutes resting time
  • Serves 8

Ingredient:

For the filling

  • 50 g (1¾ oz) raisins
  • 1 small glass (approximately 55 ml/1¾ fl oz) dry (fine) Marsala or rum
  • 500 g (1 lb 2 oz) ricotta (preferably sheep’s milk)
  • 2 eggs
  • 100 g (3½ oz) raw (demerara) sugar
  • 40 g (1½ oz) butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • finely grated zest of 1 lemon (preferably unwaxed)
  • 50 g (1¾ oz) candied citron, diced.

Instructions:

Make the shortcrust pastry according to the recipe. Leave the pastry dough to rest in the refrigerator for 2 hours, then remove it and leave for 20 minutes at room temperature. Roll it out on a lightly floured work surface.

Grease one 22 cm (8½ inch) loose-based tart tin. Line with pastry and trim the excess with a sharp knife, keeping a 1 cm (½ inch) overhang. Prick the base with a fork. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 160°C (315°F).

In a small bowl, soak the raisins in the Marsala. In a large bowl, work the ricotta with a spatula until it is smooth. Add the eggs, sugar, melted butter, cinnamon, lemon zest, citron, the soaked raisins and the Marsala they were soaked in. Pour the mixture into the tin. Bake for about 1 hour for one large tart, or 40 minutes for tartlets, until golden.

Variations

Each region in Italy has its own recipe for ricotta tart. My aunt from Reggio Emilia used to make it with anise liqueur. In the south of Italy, they use orange flower water.

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