Dolci & Desserts Italian Regional Recipes

Ricotta and Mixed-Berry Crostata

Crostata is a typical Italian dessert with a shortcrust pastry base prepared in different versions, fillings and textures. There is usually no baking powder, although some people add it. We filled it with a ricotta cream lightly flavoured with some saffron, then garnished with berries and a light sprinkling of cinnamon.


Doses for a tart mould 20 to 25 cm in diameter, Preparation 20 mins + 30 mins rest, Baking 20 mins approx.

  • 300 g white 00 flour
  • 150 g cold unsalted butter
  • 2 egg yolks + 1 whole egg
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 150 g of caster sugar
  • berries, to taste
  • a pinch of cinnamon

For the ricotta cream filling

  • 250 g fresh cow’s milk ricotta
  • 90g of caster sugar
  • a pinch of saffron – optional
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 whole egg

Method

Let’s start with the filling:

Mix the ricotta with the caster sugar, the pinch of saffron, the lemon zest.

Finally add the egg and whip everything with electric whips until you get a smooth, homogeneous cream and above all without lumps. Store in the fridge.

For the shortcrust pastry:

Lightly whip the two egg yolks, then the whole egg and the sugar in the same bowl so as to obtain a frothy mixture.

Place the flour, lemon zest, cold butter cubes and a pinch of salt on a clean work surface, mix lightly and then slowly add the egg and sugar mixture.

Tip: it is better to use cold butter, as this makes the pastry more crumbly.

Start kneading quickly, making sure your hands are cold.
Once you have the dough, cover it with cling film and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 180°/350F/Gas 4 .

After this time, flour the work surface and roll out the dough with a rolling pin to about 1 cm to line the base of the mould.

Butter the tart mould, roll the shortcrust pastry around the rolling pin and then place it in the mould, unrolling it as you go. Remove the excess shortcrust pastry which you can then use to make biscuits.

Pierce the pastry with the edges of a fork.

Bake in a static preheated oven to 180°/350F/Gas 4 for about 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and leave to cool completely before filling.

Once cold, add the ricotta cream and level with a spatula, then garnish with berries and a final sprinkling of cinnamon.

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