Aqra din ir-riċetta bil-Malti: Torta tal-irkotta ħelwa bil-ġellewż u ċ-ċikkulata
Ricotta is a very popular ingredient in Mediterranean sweets. This is a recipe for a sweet pie which is extremely sought after by the Maltese, especially on special occasions such as Christmas, Easter and village feasts.
Time: 1 hour and 30 minutes
For the dough:
- 150 g sifted flour
- 60 g ground pure almonds
- 60 g icing sugar
- 125 g cold, diced butter
- 1 egg yolk
For the filling:
- 100 g hazelnuts
- 500 g ricotta
- 100 g caster sugar
- 125 ml double cream
- Grated zest of half an orange
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- 100 g dark chocolate, broken up in pieces
- 100 g candied peel
- 2 tablespoons of brandy
- icing sugar, to decorate
- To prepare the dough:
- Place the flour and butter in a large bowl and rub the butter into the flour with your fingertips until you reach a consistency which is similar to breadcrumbs.
- Add the icing sugar and the ground almonds and mix everything together.
- Add the egg yolk and mix it in by hand.
- When the ingredients have combined, put some flour onto a table and keep kneading the mixture until it becomes smooth.
- Place the dough into a bag and put it in the fridge for 30 minutes.
- In the meantime, heat the oven to a temperature of 180°C.
- Spread the hazelnuts on to a tray and roast them for around 10 minutes or until they start to brown. Let them cool down, then place them into a clean napkin and rub them together in order to remove the husks. Pick out the hazelnuts and break them up a little bit.
- Place the ricotta into a bowl and break it up using a fork.
- Add the cream and the eggs and blend them into the ricotta properly.
- Add the orange zest, the brandy, candied peel, caster sugar and chocolate and mix them together.
- Grease a 20cm pie dish, roll out the dough and cover the dish. Put in the filling and smoothen the top.
- Bake it for 45-50 minutes or until you can see that the pastry is ready and the filling has set.
- Turn off the oven and leave the pie inside it for around an hour so that it can cool down and set.
- Sprinkle with icing sugar before serving.
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