FOOD & DRINK / A-Z of treats: Ricotta Tart

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R is for ricotta tart, continuing our alphabet of sweet treats. This is effectively an Italian version of cheesecake and is from a new book,

La Cucina Italiana (Prion pounds 17.95).


Serves 8

350g/12oz frozen shortcrust pastry, thawed

350g/12oz full cream ricotta cheese

50g/2oz sultanas

100g/4oz candied peel

3 eggs

100g/4oz sugar

grated rind of 1 lemon

icing sugar

Roll out the pastry on a floured board. Line a buttered, floured 9 in pie dish, preferably one with a removable base. Cut off excess pastry, and use it to thicken the sides of the pie. Preheat the base with a fork.

Preheat the oven to 350F/190C/Gas 4. Wash and dry the sultanas, and cut the candied peel into small cubes. Sieve the ricotta into a bowl and, one at a time, mix in the yolks of the three eggs. Then add the sugar, the grated rind of the lemon, the diced

candied peel and the sultanas, stirring vigorously as you do so.

Beat the egg whites with a pinch of salt until they are quite stiff and fold into the mixture. Pour the mixture into the pastry shell and tap the dish to shake out air bubbles in the mixture. Bake for about 45 minutes until the mixture firms up. Leave to cool before removing from the dish. Sprinkle with icing sugar before serving.