Tortta di Ricotta e Limone
This is a delicious, inter-regional lemon tart – made with fresh ricotta cheese, typical of the south, and a little mascarpone, a cream cheese of the north. Try to get sheep’s milk ricotta if you can as it is much tastier. When we filmed the making of this tart, I served it with pears in red wine. To make them, tuck eight pears into a suitably sized dish with high sides and bake in the same temperature oven for half an hour until the skins start to bubble. Pour over enough good red wine to cover, sprinkle with caster sugar and bake for another half an hour, by which time the wine will have reduced to a sweet syrup.
Preheat the oven to 180°C/Gas 4.
Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured work surface until it is 2–3mm thick. Lay over a 25cm loose-bottomed tart tin, and gently push the pastry into the base and up and over the sides. There will quite a bit of overhang. Cover with a damp cloth while you make the filling.
In a large bowl, mix the ricotta, mascarpone and candied peel with 100g of the sugar and five of the egg yolks.
Put all six egg whites in another large, clean bowl and whisk until fluffy. Add the remaining sugar and continue whisking until stiff.
Using a large metal spoon, fold the whites through the ricotta mixture, then pour into the pastry-lined tart tin.
Fold in the overhanging pastry and brush with the reserved beaten egg yolk. Bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes, until the pastry is risen and golden and the filling retains a slight wobble.
Leave to cool for 2 hours, then sprinkle with lemon zest. Serve either on its own or with roasted pears
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