This crusted ricotta torte aka Torta di Ricotta is super flavorful and would make a great addition to your family's holiday dessert table.
Keyword: Italian dessert, ricotta dessert
Author: Chef Dennis Littley
Pine Nut Brittle
Rum Soaked Raisins
3 1/4cupsall purpose flour
1 1/4cupground almonds
8ozunsalted buttervery cold cut into 1/4 inch pieces
1 1/2lbwhole milk ricotta cheese*
1tspgrated orange rind
2ozsemi sweet chocolate chips
1/4cupheavy creamif mixture is too dry
Pine Nut Brittle
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 finished mixture onto oiled cookie sheet to cool and harden
mix raisins and rum together and allow them to sit until all the rum has been absorbed
using a food processor- add the flour, brown sugar, almonds, and baking powder, pulse 2 or 3 times
add butter pieces and pulse 4 or 5 times until mixture looks like coarse meal
mix egg, and vanilla together and pour into the mixture while the food processor is running. Mix just enough to blend!
If mixture looks too dry add ice water
Dough will look loose, that's ok
place dough onto work table and form into 2 balls, one third and two thirds of mixture. Do not work dough, even if it does not come completely together, just do your best to form balls, then wrap in plastic and refrigerate for at least one hour.
Mix ricotta, orange rind, vanilla, sea salt, sugar, raisins and pine nut brittle together until well blended*
Add chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350 degrees (180 C)
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.
place larger of your dough balls in the pan and flatten it out, going half way up the inside of the pan with the dough. Make this layer is as even as possible, especially the side walls.
Spoon ricotta mixture into the prepared pan
In between two pieces of parchment paper, roll out the remaining dough ball, just a little bit larger than your springform pan.
Place this dough onto 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.
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 cheesecake has set up, remove the bottom of the springform pan and place on serving platter, allow cheesecake to come back to room temperature before serving.
*if you do not have superfine sugar, you can pulse granulated sugar 5 or 6 times until it becomes a finer granule. * My homemade ricotta was very dry and I needed to add 1/4 cup of heavy cream to the mixture