My Torta di Ricotta is perfect for the holiday season!
I love a simple ricotta cheesecake, and my version takes this Italian classic to a whole new level. Double crusted and filled with chocolate chips, rum-soaked raisins and pine nut brittle this cheesecake will be a highlight of the holiday festivities.
My first experience with a ricotta cheesecake was a bit of a disappointment for me, it wasn’t what I used to. The flavors and textures were completely different, and on top of that, it wasn’t very sweet.
What I would come to realize later, was the complexity of this simple dessert and the fact that sugar didn’t mask the real flavors of this glorious cake, which is what made ricotta cheesecake a staple of Italian households.
And thanks to Mama Jeanette I have this extra-special version of that Italian classic, Torta di Ricotta.
What Ingredients do I need to make Torta di Ricotta?
Let’s start by gathering the ingredients we need to make Tort di Ricotta. In Chef Speak this is called the “Mise en Place” which translates to “Everything in its Place”.
Not only does setting your ingredients up ahead of time speed up the cooking process, it also helps ensure you have everything you need to make the dish.
How do I make a Torta di Ricotta?
Mix the raisins and rum together and allow them to sit until most of the rum has been absorbed.
- Toast 5 tablespoons of pine nuts in a saute pan just until they start to get color, moving them around constantly so they do not burn. Once they are toasted remove from the pan to cool
- In a small pan add sugar and water, heat over high neat until mixture begins to boil and all the sugar is dissolved
- Add the pine nuts to the sugar syrup and continue to swirl the pan until the mixture turns amber.
- Place the finished mixture onto an oiled cookie sheet to cool and harden
- In the bowl of a food processor- add the flour, brown sugar, gound almonds, and baking powder, pulse 2 or 3 times
- Add the butter pieces and pulse 4 or 5 times until mixture looks like coarse meal
- Mix the egg and vanilla together and pour the mixture into the food processor while it is running (mix just enough to blend)
- If mixture looks too dry add a little ice water
- The dough will look a little loose, that’s ok
Place the dough onto a work table and form it into 2 balls. Use one-third of the dough to make one dough ball and the remainder of the dough for the second. Do not work the dough, even if it does not come completely together, just do your best to form the balls. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for at least one hour.
- Using a 10-inch springform pan, line the inside with aluminum foil, overlapping slightly on the outside. Use two criss crossing pieces, and make sure foil is tight to the sides of the pan.
- Roll the larger of the two dough balls out between two sheets of parchment paper. Making a large circle.
- Carefully place the rolled out dough into the springform pan. The dough should go half way up the inside of the pan.
- Mix the ricotta, orange rind, vanilla, sea salt, sugar, raisins and pine nut brittle together in a mixing bowl until well blended.
- Add the chocolate chips and mix together.
- Add the pine nut brittle and mix into the ricotta mixture.
- Spoon the ricotta mixture into the prepared pan
- In between two pieces of parchment paper, roll out the smaller dough ball, just a little bit larger than your springform pan.
- Place this dough on top of the ricotta mixture, and carefully pinch the dough into dough on the sides of the pan.
- Don’t worry if it cracks slightly, just try not to leave any holes in the dough.
- Place on the center rack of a 350 degree preheated oven and bake for 50-55 minutes, or until the top is a nice golden brown.
- Allow cheesecake to cool on a wire rack for about 20 minutes, then remove the outer pan and very gently peel back the foil and allow it to continue to cool for an additional 30 minutes.
- Refrigerate the cheesecake for at least 4 hours before serving to allow it to set up. *There are no eggs in this cake to help bind it, and if you cut it too soon it will run.
After the Torta di Ricotta has set, remove the bottom of the springform pan and place the cheesecake on a serving platter. Allow the cheesecake to come back to room temperature before serving.
Slice the torta into portions and serve up deliciousness!
Wouldn’t a slice of this Torta di Ricotta make a delicious dessert or breakfast treat? I know your friends and family will love it!