If you like cheesecake, you'll love Loretta Sartor's recipe for torta di ricotta, an Italian dessert made with cream cheese and ricotta, flavoured with candied citrus peel and rum-soaked sultanas. While this recipe feeds a crowd, you might find it hard to share!
- icing sugar, for dusting
- 200 g unsalted butter, softened
- 100 g caster sugar
- 1 egg
- 300 g (2 cups) plain flour
- 80 g almond meal
- 3 eggs
- 110 g (½ cup) sugar
- 350 g cream cheese at room temperature
- 650 g fresh ricotta
- 80 ml cream
- 80 g candied citrus peel, diced
- 100 g sultanas, soaked overnight in a little rum or brandy
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Chilling time 30 minutes
You will need to begin this recipe 1 day ahead.
To make the pastry, cream the butter and sugar with electric beaters until pale. Add the egg and continue beating until incorporated. Add the flour and beat just until combined. The dough will be very sticky. Cover in plastic wrap and refrigerate to chill until you are ready to roll it out (leave for at least 30 minutes).
Preheat the oven to 180°C. Briefly knead the chilled dough to soften it, then roll it out on a lightly floured work surface. Place a 26 cm springform cake tin over the pastry and cut around the tin to give you a circle that will fit into the base. Set the tin aside and lift the circle of pastry onto a tray lined with baking paper. Bake the pastry for approximately 12 minutes, until golden. Allow the pastry to cool briefly.
Meanwhile, put the almond meal for the filling on another tray and lightly roast it in the oven.
Butter the cake tin and lay the baked pastry circle into the base. Cut strips of fresh pastry for the sides and press into the tin. Run your finger along the joins, including where the sides join to the base, to seal.
Beat the eggs with half the sugar until pale and frothy. Set aside.
Beat the cream cheese and remaining sugar until smooth, then add the ricotta and beat again until smooth. Beat in the cream, then gradually beat in the eggs. Fold in the almond meal, candied peel and sultanas. Spoon into the pastry base and bake in the oven for 1 hour.
Leave to cool to room temperature, remove from the tin and dust with icing sugar.