I want to share with you one of my Mom’s recipes because it is part of those sweets that have always been present in my childhood.
In our house, it is now back in fashion since, a few months ago, I prepared it for a dinner with friends which was also attended by our daughter Zoe.
Usually very sparing in flattering comments, in front of this cake she could not resist and complimented me with every bite. I must admit that to seduce her palate I made a small substitution which, however, turned out to be quite guessed: in the original recipe the raisins are provided in the mixture of the filling, which I replaced with dark chocolate chips (she hates raisins!!) and it was a success.
Of course, this version is sweeter so pick the one you prefer, according to your tastes, those of your guests, and if you are desperate for consents like me, even those of your children!
Let’s start as usual with the ingredients:
For the shortcrust pastry:
250 gr white flour for sweets
125 gr sugar
125 gr soft butter
1 whole egg
1 pinch of salt
the grated rind of an untreated lemon
For the stuffing:
2 hg of fresh ricotta
1 sachet of 8 vanillin or a teaspoon of natural vanilla essence
2 dl fresh whipping cream
150 grams of sugar
3 tablespoons of flour
1 handful of raisins (or dark chocolate chips)
+ 1 egg white whipped until stiff with a teaspoon of powdered sugar
Mix rather quickly the sifted flour with the sugar, the soft butter, the egg, a pinch of salt, and the grated lemon peel. Form a ball and put it in the fridge for at least half an hour, wrapped in plastic wrap so that the butter contained in the dough regains consistency.
You can prepare it the day before because it will not alter at all.
If you have decided on the more “adult” version, that is the one with raisins, soak it in warm water. When it has softened, dry it with kitchen paper and lightly flour it (to prevent it from dropping all over the bottom of the cake).
While the pastry rests in the fridge, take care of the filling: in a large bowl mix the ricotta, the two yolks (put the whites in another container), sugar, sifted flour, and vanilla.
Continue to mix the ingredients until you have obtained a smooth and soft mixture.
In a separate bowl, whip the egg whites firmly with a pinch of salt and put them in the fridge; in another bowl whip the cream to its maximum degree of consistency (before it turns into butter though !!!).
At this point, you are ready to mix everything.
Start by gently adding the wiped cream and lastly the whipped whites, with gentle movements from the bottom up to prevent them from falling apart.
Add the raisins (or the chocolate chips) and put the bowl back in the fridge.
Take a 22 cm diameter cake pan with a zipper, grease it and sprinkle it with flour. Cover the pan with your shortcrust pastry as you would for any tart but being careful to create thin but high edges because the filling is going to be abundant and pretty soft.
Pour the filling. In a container put an egg white and a teaspoon of powdered sugar. Whip everything with a whisk and proceed to decorate the cake.
For the more experienced I can suggest the use of a pastry bag or simply with the spoon create tiny clouds on the surface of the filling in the order you like best.
Bake the ricotta cake in a preheated oven at 170 ° for 40 minutes (when the timer reaches 35 minutes take a look at it because, as I said a thousand times, the ovens all have their distinct personality and we should never contradict them !!!).
Remove from the oven and wait for it to cool before daring any intervention.
You will thank me and ….. you will also thank my mom