Sunday, April 16, 2006

We haven't been to potluck in several months, mostly because we are usually never here that weekend (I think we plan it that way subconsciously). Anyway, Greg had to go down to Brunswick to help a friend move into her house and I stayed here to do chores and figure out what to make. I always try to make something fun and new (except for the time we arrived with cream cheese and jelly with crackers!) because cooking for me is a sport. I thought about making Chocolate cheesecake, and I should have with what I ended up making, but I wanted something Eastery. I found a recipe for Sweet Ricotta Cheese Tart, essentially cheescake in a crust. Apparently it is a traditional Italian dessert to serve at Easter. It sounded good and turned out to be a fairly elegant presentation, but I think I would serve it with a raspberry sauce next time. What is nice about it is that it is very light, not too sweet and really tasted like one of those Italian pasteries that you find in shops in New York. My recommendation would also be to make it a day ahead of when you want it so that it can sit in the fridge to meld the flavors. Below is the recipe. I doctored the one I found by folding in sour cream and substituting Orange Licquor for vanilla.

Preheat oven to 350

1 3/4 cup flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon grated orange peel
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder

Combine ingredients and then add

1 stick unsalted butter, chilled and diced

you can either mix above in a food processor or combine by hand until a coarse meal forms.

Then add two eggs

combine mixture to form moist lumps. Scoop together in a ball and knead on a floured work surface. Divide into two balls, one slightly bigger than the other . Wrap smaller and chill in freezer.
Roll out larger into a round large enough to cover a 9" tart pan bottom and sides. ( I used a higher sided 7" tart pan) make sure it has a removable bottom.

For filling:
16 oz whole milk ricotta
3 oz cream cheese Softened
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 tablespoon corn starch
1 teaspoon vanilla extract or orange licquor
1 1/2 teaspoons grated orange peel
4- 5 oz sour cream

Using electric mixer, beat ricotta and cream cheese cornstarch and vanilla. Beat in 1/2 cup sugar, orange peel, and eggs and vanilla. Take out beaters and fold in sour cream. Transfer filling to tart pan.

Roll out smaller ball of dogh into 10" round to cover top of tart. Crimp sides and trim excess. Cut four slits in top of tart and bake in the oven for approximately 1 hour or until golden brown. Cool completely and serve.


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