Crostata di ricotta is the Roman take on cheesecake. Traditionally, it is decorated with a lattice pastry top; if you'd like to follow tradition, simply double the pastry ingredients and lay 5mm-wide strips of pastry over the ricotta filling in a lattice pattern. Chocolate gelato is optional, but when combined with the flavours of ricotta, fig and Marsala, it's a welcome addition. You'll need to begin this recipe a day ahead.
- 120 gm caster sugar
- 3 egg yolks
- 650 gm firm ricotta, drained well
- 25 gm fine fresh breadcrumbs
- 2 tbsp pouring cream
- 6 dried figs, halved horizontally
- 80 gm sultanas (½ cup)
- 350 ml Marsala
- 250 gm plain flour
- 125 gm butter, coarsely chopped
- 2 egg yolks
- 1For Marsala-soaked fruit, soak figs, sultanas and lemon rind in a non-reactive container with Marsala (overnight). Strain Marsala through a fine sieve (reserve fruit) into a saucepan, add soaked lemon rind and cook over medium heat until reduced by half (10-20 minutes). Add reserved fruit and set aside.
- 2For lemon pastry, process flour and butter with a pinch of salt in a food processor until fine crumbs form, add yolks, lemon rind and 1 tsp water and pulse to combine. Turn onto a work surface and gently knead until smooth, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate to rest (1 hour).
- 3Roll dough to a 31cm-diameter round, line a 23cm-diameter, 4cm-deep tart tin, trim edges, then refrigerate to rest (30 minutes).
- 4Preheat oven to 180C. Blind bake pastry until light golden (15-20 minutes), then remove paper and weights and bake until golden (5-10 minutes).
- 5Meanwhile, whisk sugar and yolks in an electric mixer, add ricotta and whisk to combine, then stir through breadcrumbs, cream, lemon rind and 60ml Marsala from Marsala-soaked fruit. Spoon into pastry case and bake until set and golden (40-50 minutes). Cool to room temperature, top with Marsala-soaked fruit and serve with chocolate gelato.
Drink Suggestion: A sweet passito-style dessert wine. Drink suggestion by Max Allen