Monday, 3 December 2012

Ricotta citrus tart, crostata to some

I have just made this tart twice, adapting Carluccio’s recipe a bit. It is really easy, and the result is a very light cheesecake, with a flavour reminiscent of pannetone. The difference between this recipe and a more usual cheesecake is that the eggs are separated and the beaten egg whites give it a lift. I’ve seen it made with short crust elsewhere too, which would make it richer. Also, Carluccio adds the lemon zest after cooking, which gives an extra tang.

I used half a packet of puff pastry and rolled it very thin, and leaving about a one inch overlap, which gets folded over the mixture. Then I put little straps of pastry across, which I think looks good, but a rather acerbic relative (while eating it) said makes it looks like a hot cross bun, clearly meaning not in a good way. Sob.

In the mixture I added a spoonful of marmalade, reducing the sugar a little.

Carluccio says this tart is delicious served on its own or with roasted pears, which I haven’t tried yet.

For the pastry
·         1 x 400g/14oz ready-made puff pastry
·         Plain flour for dusting
·         1 lemon finely grated zest only

For the filling
·         300g/10½oz ricotta cheese
·         200g/7oz mascarpone cheese
·         200g/7oz candied peel roughly chopped
·         125g/4½oz caster sugar
·         6 free-range eggs, separated

Preparation method
1.     Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4.
2.     Roll the pastry out on a lightly floured work surface to a 3mm/⅛in thickness. Use the pastry to line a 25cm/10in pastry case. Cover with a damp cloth while you make the filling.
3.     In a bowl, mix the ricotta, mascarpone and candied peel with 100g/3½oz of the sugar and five of the egg yolks until smooth and well combined.
4.     Whisk the egg whites in another large, clean bowl until fluffy. Whisk in the remaining sugar and continue whisking until stiff peaks form when the whisk is removed.
5.     Using a large metal spoon, fold the whites into the ricotta mixture, then pour into the pastry-lined tart tin.
6.     Beat the reserved egg yolk in a bowl. Fold in the overhanging pastry and brush with the egg yolk. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes, until the pastry is cooked through and the filling has a slight wobble in the centre.
7.     Set aside to cool for two hours, then sprinkle with lemon zest.