Lemon zest is a nice addition to the filling and, although not a common ingredient in Argentine cooking, a teaspoon of ground cinnamon can also be added, to give the cake a touch of spicy warmth.
- 450 g (1 lb/3 cups) plain (all-purpose) flour, plus extra for dusting
- 125 g (4½ oz/1 cup) icing (confectioners’) sugar, plus extra for dusting
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 225 g (8 oz) butter, cubed, plus extra for greasing
- 2 eggs, beaten and chilled
- 750 g (1 lb 11 oz/3 cups) fresh ricotta
- 3 egg yolks
- 230 g (8 oz/1 cup) caster (superfine) sugar
- 60 ml (2 fl oz/¼ cup) pouring (single/light) cream
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract
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: 1 hour
1. Combine the flour, icing sugar and baking powder in the bowl of a food processor. With the motor running, add the butter followed by the egg and process for only a few seconds, until the mixture starts to clump together to make a wet dough.
2. Tip the dough onto a lightly floured work surface and form into a flat disc shape. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.
3. To make the filling, combine all the ingredients in a large bowl and beat until smooth. Set aside.
4. Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F). Grease a 22 cm (8¾ in) loose-bottomed flan (tart) tin.
5. Divide the dough into thirds. Press two of the thirds together and roll on a lightly floured work surface or between two sheets of floured baking paper into a 30 cm (12 in) circle. Line the flan tin with the dough, gently pressing into the side of the tin and trim off any overhanging dough. Lay some baking paper or cooking foil over the dough and fill with baking weights, uncooked rice or dried beans. Bake for 15 minutes, then remove the paper and weights and bake for a further 5 minutes, until the pastry is pale golden and dry to the touch. Pour the ricotta filling into the pastry shell.
6. Roll the remaining dough into a 25-cm (10 in) circle, then carefully place it on top of the ricotta filling. Press the dough into the side of the tin and trim off any excess dough. If you like, use a fork to press around the edge.
7. Bake for 45 minutes, until the pastry is golden. Allow to cool, then refrigerate until completely chilled. Remove the cake from the tin and dust with icing sugar before serving. The cake will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for 2–3 days.
Recipe from The Food of Argentina by Ross Dobson and Rachel Tolosa Paz, Smith Street Books, RRP $44.99