Crostata di ricotta
There is a wonderful small bakery in the Jewish Quarter of Rome behind the synagogue where they make the best crostata di ricotta.
Preparation Time:20 minutes, plus 6 hours chilling time
Cooking Time:25 minutes
Level of Difficulty:Medium
- For the sweet shortcrust pastry:
- 3 egg yolks
- 85g icing sugar, sifted
- 175g unsalted butter, diced and at room temperature
- 250g medium strength plain float
- For the pastry cream:
- 500ml milk
- 1 vanilla pod, split lengthways
- 30ml dark rum
- 6 egg yolks
- 100g caster sugar
- 25g plain flour
- 209 cornflour
- For the strawberry coulis:
- 110g caster sugar
- 100ml water
- 200g fresh strawberries
- For the topping
- 250g fresh strawberries
- For the accompaniments
- 4 scoops of good quality vanilla ice - cream
- a few mint leaves
- 1 punnet of redcurrants
- For the sweet shortcrust pastry: In a large mixing bowl beat the egg yolks and the icing sugar together. Add the butter and incorporate the flour with fingertips until you get a sandy dough. Do not over mix. Roll the pastry into a ball, wrap it in cling film and let it rest in the fridge for 6 hours
- Remove the pastry from the fridge and allow it to come to room temperature.
- Meanwhile, Butter the inside of four 9cm tartlet cases flour the work surface and roll the dough out until it is quite thin. Leave it to rest for a few minutes before cutting it with a 13.5cm pastry cutter. Line the tartlet cases with the pastry circles, pressing the pastry firmly into the sides and trimming away any excess from round the edges. Now put the tartlet cases in the fridge to rest for a further 10 minutes
- Preheat the oven to 190 C (gas mark 5). The tartlets need to be baked blind to stop the bases rising and prevent the sides from collapsing. To do this, line the pastry cases with baking Parchment and fill them with ceramic baking beans (dried beans will work just as well). Bake the pastry cases in the oven for 10 minutes Take them out, remove the beans and the baking parchment and then bake them again for 2 more minutes. Remove the pastry cases from the oven and put them in a dry place.
- For the pastry cream: In a saucepan, bring the milk to the boil. Add the vanilla pod and the rum, reduce the heat and simmer slowly for 5 minutes so that the vanilla infuses. Take the pan off the heat and remove the vanilla pod.