I have such an appreciation for desserts that are not overly sweet. This tart is exactly that. There is a great balance between sweet, creamy and nutty. The interior is filled with ricotta cheese and an occasional pine nut. A little more background on the cake; originally known as Grandmother’s cake this recipe is Mario Batali’s spin on the classic. Traditionally it’s served around Easter, which is what I did earlier this year. Honestly I think it would be great year round.
2 cups all-purpose
1 large egg, beaten
2 large egg yolks, beaten
1/2 cup sugar
3 tbs unsalted butter, melted with 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil and cooled
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups fresh ricotta cheese, preferably sheep’s milk
1/2 cup pine nuts
1/2 cup sugar
juice and finely grated zest of 1 lemon
3 large eggs, beaten
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Make the pastry. Mound the flour on a pastry board. Make a well in the flour and place the egg, yolks, sugar, butter and olive oil mixture, and the vanilla in the center. Proceed as you would with fresh pasta, bringing the flour in bit by bit from the sides. When the dough comes together, knead until smooth, then allow to rest 10 minutes.
Combine the filling ingredients in a large bowl and mix until creamy.
Divide the dough into 2 portions, one slightly larger than the other. On a floured board, roll the larger piece to a 6-inch circle. Transfer to a 10-inch tart pan with a removable bottom and press into the bottom and up the sides. Spoon the filling into the tart, then roll the second piece of dough to a 10-inch circle. Carefully place over the filling and pinch to seal. Bake 35 to 40 minutes until just golden. Serve warm or at room temperature. Serves 6.
Recipe from Mario Batali’s book: Simple Italian Food – Recipes from My Two Villages pg. 273