Ricotta is an ingredient that you can find in many cake recipes especially in central-southern Italy, and many traditional Easter cakes have it. The most famous of them is probably the Pastiera, typical of Naples.
This cake is also an Easter cake, and it’s typical of the town of Terracina (from which it takes its name), a town by the sea located halfway between Rome and Naples.
Basically it’s a crostata, but the filling is very rich and the anise-flavored liqueur gives a special touch.
To do it very well you should use a fresh sheep milk ricotta, which is more tasty. But also a cow milk ricotta will be fine. Here in Hungary also the local Orda can be a valid substitute.
Let’s see how to do it!
INGREDIENTS (for a 28 cm cake):
For the pasta frolla base: look at THIS recipe
For the filling:
- 500 g ricotta
- 160 g cane sugar (but also normal sugar is ok)
- 2 eggs
- 1 and half coffee cup of coffee (Italian size coffee cup, and Italian coffee type, moka or espresso)
- 1 tablespoon cocoa powder (not too full the spoon)
- half of a coffee cup of Sambuca (in alternative some other anise-flavored liqueurs, also Ouzo can work well)
- cinnamon, the top of a teaspoon
- ground coffee, 1 teaspoon
- First of all prepare the base of pasta frolla following the linked recipe, and let it rest in the fridge at least 2-3 hours.
- After this time prepare first the filling: take a bowl and start whisking the eggs and the sugar, until fluffy. Then add the ricotta (for the best results drain it at least 1 hour before), the coffee, the cocoa, the ground coffee, the cinnamon and the Sambuca. Whisk until you have a smooth and homogeneous cream.
- Now put some flour on your working table and flatten the pasta frolla using a rolling pin at a thickness of about 3/4mm.
- Rll the pasta frolla on the rolling pin, and put it into a crostata pan (before spread some butter on the bottom of the cake pan), paying attention not to break it.
- Fit nicely the pasta frolla in the cake pan, and cut the exceeding pasta frolla: we will use it to make some stripes to decorate the top of the cake.
- Now, with a fork, pierce all the surface of the pasta frolla base.
- Pour the cream. It has to reach almost the top of the pan, but leave at least 2-3 mm. It will grow while baking.
- Decorate the top with stripes of pasta frolla.
- Bake at 180 °C, for about 40 minutes. Place it on the lower part of your oven. I bake it for the first 20 minutes at 160/170 °C fan-assisted mode, and the last 20-25 minutes at 180 °C static mode.
- Let it cool down and rest for the whole night. Before eating it you can sprinkle some powdered sugar 🙂
Flour: “Farro bianco bio” and “Macinato intero di farro” both from Mulino Marino
Cow milk ricotta
Eggs from a local farmer
Coffee made with a moka