- For the pastry:
- 200 g self raising flour
- 80 g sugar
- 80 g butter
- 1 egg
- a pinch of salt
- the zest of one lemon
- For the filling:
- 250 g ricotta cheese
- 2 eggs
- 100 g amaretti biscuits
- 25 g cornflour
- 5 tbsp sugar
- 3-4 tbsp milk
- icing sugar for dusting
Italians love tarts. I grew up eating “la crostata” all the time. There are so many types of them: there are beautiful ones filled with multicoloured fruit, yummy ones with chocolate, with ricotta cheese, almonds, custard..and so many more to satisfy every palate.
What I find so irresistible about them is the crunchiness of the shortcrust pastry which combined with a yummy filling is the perfect treat to have at any time of the day.
To make a good shortcrust pastry I always use good quality butter, preferably organic one. Never use margarine or other cheaper types of fat or it will just spoil its final taste.
Over the weekend I made this amaretti and ricotta tart as my daughter suggested we used up some amaretti biscuits we had in the cupboard. The pastry turned out crunchy and crumbly and the filling had a delicate almondy taste. A good cup of English tea was just the perfect match for it!
Put the flour, lemon zest, egg, salt and sugar on your working top. With a fork mix your ingredients up
Add the diced butter and with your hands shape it quickly into a ball. If it feels sticky put it in the fridge for 15 minutes
Flatten the pastry with a rolling pin
Now lay it on a round baking tray leaving aside a small quantity of pastry for decorating. Putting the pastry on the tray in one go can be tricky as it is very fragile. I usually do it with my hands a little bit at a time
In a bowl put the eggs, sugar, ricotta and cornflour and crushed amaretti. Mix well then add the milk
You will need to make a semi-runny mixture. Add extra milk is you think the mixture is too dry
Pour it over the tart
With a pastry cutter make some long stripes with the remaining pastry
Lay them over the tart and decorate to your taste
Bake for 25-30 minutes at 180 C. Let it cool down and dust with a little icing sugar.