Cakes, Pies & Tarts, Dessert

Crostata Ricotta e Cioccolato

Nicoletta March 15, 2018

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Crostata Ricotta e Cioccolato (Ricotta and Chocolate Tart) is a classic dessert of the Roman tradition and consists of a short pastry (pastafrolla) with a delicate filling of ricotta, orange zest, and dark chocolate. In Rome, it is served as a Sunday meal dessert, or on special occasions, like Easter.

Song of the day: Get Out Of Your Own Way – U2.

Ricotta is a favourite component of many Italian Easter traditional foods, sweet and savory, from North to South, with variations according to the Region. In Rome, this traditional Crostata Ricotta e Cioccolato is a very popular and irresistible dessert that brings back memories associated with family and comfort.

 

 

It evokes scenes from Sunday lunches with family, when, even if you’re full, you find space if the dessert is this tart. Or Easter, on the breakfast table that my mother tirelessly prepares every year, a regular stop for relatives and friends, where in addition to this delicious tart they will find traditional sweet and savory treats. But also birthday parties, where crostate (plural for crostata) are popular desserts home made by the host’s lovely hands, and this particular one considered a favorite. Just last Sunday I was at a friend’s husband’s birthday party; she is a very good cook and had prepared three crostate: the classic with jam, one with Nutella, and the one with ricotta and chocolate. Heaven on a buffet table 🙂.

Crostata Ricotta e Cioccolato

It is a simple yet delightful dessert where a buttery pastafrolla (short pastry) marries a rich and creamy filling made with ricotta and dark chocolate. I took the liberty to bake it in a rectangular pan, however, traditionally, it is only baked in a round mold. As with most Italian simple recipes passed down from generation to generation, everyone has their own take on it, and pretend it is the best. One thing is common, though, particular attention is given to using fresh and excellent ingredients.

The pastafrolla is flavored with the zest of an organic lemon and a drop of vanilla, while the ricotta filling is flavored with the zest of an organic orange, thus making the Crostata Ricotta e Cioccolato a very fragrant tart.

Crostata Ricotta e Cioccolato

As for the ricotta, which means ‘recooked’, the one we use in Rome is sheep milk ricotta, known as ricotta romana d.o.p. , one of the most renowned ricotta in Italy. D.O.P. means that it has a protected designation of origin, certifying that it is produced only in the region of Lazio and that strict requirements regarding its method of production are followed. Among the unique aspects of ricotta romana are its extremely low-fat content and light texture, a silky smooth, rich consistency, and a delicate, sweet flavor that makes it particularly suitable for desserts. Of course, you can make it with whatever commercial ricotta is available to you. But there is nothing that can compare to the taste of fresh authentic Italian, or Roman, ricotta.

Crostata Ricotta e Cioccolato

As for the chocolate, important is the use of a good quality dark chocolate, roughly chopped with a sharp knife, of at least 60% pure cocoa content (I used 70 % cacao), to be preferred to the more commercial chocolate chips. And the eggs, absolutely organic, from free-range chicken. See that orange yolk? It comes from a happy chicken allowed to roam free. It tastes better and it is better for you. And makes for a deep orange yolk that affects the final color of the tart, both in the pastry and the filling.

Crostata Ricotta e Cioccolato

This Crostata Ricotta e Cioccolato is also a memory of going out with friends, a stop in the Ghetto (the Jewish Quarter) of Rome, for a taste of this heavenly tart, which together with the Crostata Ricotta e Visciole (Ricotta and Sour Cherry Tart), are among the most characteristic and famous desserts. There it was born and from there it takes off, finding itself on the tables of Roman families, or on restaurant and pizzeria menus.

Crostata Ricotta e Cioccolato

I have on the site a recipe for Ricotta and Apricot Jam Crostata, but I do not know why it took me so long to publish one with Ricotta and Chocolate. I’m glad I finally did it, and my parents with me. My parents, the enthusiastic “taste testers” of yet another creation of mine. When you bite in, a symphony of  flavors plays on your taste buds and delight your sense of smell: the delicate, fragrant short pastry shell crumbles and melts in your mouth, embracing a luscious and creamy ricotta filling; and the orange zest compliments so well the little “nuggets” of dark chocolate that burst in your mouth. It is good eaten cold, when it resembles an Italian cheesecake, or at room temperature for a much creamier effect.

Crostata Ricotta e Cioccolato

Song of the day: Get Out Of Your Own Way – U2.

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Crostata Ricotta e Cioccolato

Crostata Ricotta e Cioccolato

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  • Author: Nicoletta
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 8 servings
  • Category: Dessert, Tarts
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: Italian

Description

Crostata Ricotta e Cioccolato (Ricotta and Chocolate Tart) is a classic dessert of the Roman tradition and consists of a short pastry (pastafrolla) with a delicate filling of ricotta and dark chocolate. In Rome, it is served as a Sunday meal dessert, or on special occasions, like Easter.


Ingredients

For the Crostata:

  • 300 g flour type 0 (or all-purpose)
  • 100 g raw cane sugar
  • 100 g unsalted butter
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 eggs, organic free-range
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 lemon, the zest, grated

For the Ricotta:

  • 400 g ricotta
  • 80 g granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 orange, the zest, grated
  • 90 g dark chocolate (70% cacao), chopped
  • icing (powdered) sugar, for decoration

Instructions

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer or a food processor add the sugar, the cubed butter and the sifted flour/baking powder. Mix, pulsing, until you obtain a “sandy” mixture.
  2. Then add the eggs, vanilla, lemon zest, and pulse the mixture just until slightly mixed. Do not overheat the pastry with the blades.
  3. Pour it onto a work surface and work it lightly with your hands until you get a ball of dough. Wrap it with plastic wrap and let it rest in the fridge for about 1/2 an hour to 1 hour.
  4. In the meantime, in a bowl, add the ricotta and beat it with a whisk along with the sugar.
  5. Add the egg, and the orange zest.
  6. Stir gently with a whisk until the mixture is smooth. Finally, add the chopped dark chocolate. Set aside.
  7. Take the short pastry from the refrigerator, if necessary bring it to temperature by working it lightly with your hands. Cut a piece (about a 1/4) that you will need for the decorative strips and place it back in the fridge.
  8. Roll out the remaining pastry with a rolling pin on a floured surface to about a 4 mm thickness.
  9. With the help of the rolling pin, transfer the pastry into a rectangular tart mold (35 x 11 cm) with a removable bottom, or a round springform mold (about 22-24 cm in diameter). If it cracks do not worry, use your hands gently to patch it back together.
  10. With a sharp knife, cut the excess dough on the borders and puncture the bottom with the tins of a fork.
  11. Preheat the oven to 180° C (350° F). Fill the pastry shell with the ricotta mixture, smoothing it with a spoon.
  12. Take out the other piece of short pastry and roll it out to a 3 mm thickness. Cut strips or any other design you like. Arrange the strips of pastry in a lattice pattern over the top of the filling. Push the edges into the sides of the case so they are joined.
  13. Bake in preheated oven for about 45-50 minutes. Check it often during the last minutes of cooking. When the strips are golden on the surface, it is ready.
  14. Take it out of the oven and let it rest for a few hours on a rack, until it cools completely.
  15. After the resting time, extract it from the mold, sprinkle the whole surface with plenty of icing sugar.
  16. Store in the refrigerator lightly covered and consume within two-three days. It is good both cold, kind of like a cheesecake, or at room temperature for a creamier effect.

Notes

If your ricotta is too watery and grainy first let it drain, then pass it through a sieve.

If you use this size rectangular pan you will have some leftover pastry dough. You can make simple but delicious shortbread cookies or bake 1 or 2 amazing tartlets with jam or chocolate spread.

Post e Ricetta in Italiano

La Crostata Ricotta e Cioccolato evoca scene da pranzi domenicali in famiglia, quando anche se pieni, si riesce a trovare spazio se il dolce di turno è questa crostata. Oppure Pasqua, sulla tavola imbandita della mega colazione che mia madre prepara instancabilmente ogni anno, tappa fissa di parenti e amici, dove oltre alla deliziosa crostata troveranno tradizionali leccornie dolci e salate. O feste di compleanno, quando le mani laboriose della padrona di casa di turno, sfornano questa crostata per la gioia di tutti. Proprio la scorsa domenica sono stata al compleanno del marito di una mia amica la quale, bravissima cuoca e pasticciera, aveva preparato 3 crostate: una classica di marmellata, una con la Nutella e una ricotta e cioccolato. Che ve lo dico a fare… 🙂 .

Questa Crostata Ricotta e Cioccolato è anche il ricordo di uscite tra amici, una fermata obbligata al ghetto (il Quartiere Ebreo) di Roma per una fetta di questa torta paradisiaca, che insieme alla Crostata Ricotta e Visciole, è tra i dolci più caratteristici e famosi. E’ da lì che nasce e da lì prende il largo, ritrovandosi sulle tavole delle famiglie, o nei menu dei ristoranti/pizzerie di Roma. Io non so perché ci ho messo tanto a pubblicarla sul sito, ma sono contenta di averlo fatto, e i miei genitori con me, principali “assaggiatori” in questa mia sosta romana.

Nella crostata ricotta e cioccolato una morbida ma friabile pastafrolla aromatizzata da vaniglia e limone, racchiude uno squisito ripieno fatto di ricotta di pecora romana, uovo, zucchero (ma non troppo), grattugiata di scorza di arancia e cioccolato fondente al 70% tagliato grossolanamente al coltello. Io mi sono presa la libertà di farla rettangolare, ma tradizionalmente viene preparata in una teglia rotonda. Essendo un dolce molto popolare, ognuno ha una su ricetta, che ovviamente considera la migliore. Resta il fatto che la crostata ricotta e cioccolato è un dolce irresistibile, semplice ma gustoso e di sicuro effetto, che farà felici grandi e piccini.

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Crostata Ricotta e Cioccolato

Crostata Ricotta e Cioccolato

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (1 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)

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  • Author: Nicoletta
  • Prep Time: 20 minuti
  • Cook Time: 40 minuti
  • Total Time: 1 ora
  • Yield: 8-10 fette
  • Category: Dolci
  • Method: Forno
  • Cuisine: Italiana

Description

Nella squisita Crostata Ricotta e Cioccolato una morbida ma friabile pastafrolla aromatizzata da vaniglia e limone, racchiude uno squisito ripieno fatto di ricotta di pecora romana, uovo, zucchero (ma non troppo), grattugiata di scorza di arancia e cioccolato fondente al 70% tagliato grossolanamente al coltello.


Ingredients

  • 300 g farina tipo 0
  • 100 g zucchero di canna
  • 100 g burro, a cubetti
  • 2 uova, biologiche da allevamento a terra
  • 1 cucchiaino estratto vaniglia puro
  • 1 limone biologico, la buccia grattugiata
  • 1/2 cucchiaino lievito in polvere

Per la ricotta:

  • 400 g ricotta
  • 80 g zucchero granulare
  • 1 uovo biologico, da allevamento a terra
  • 1 arancio, la buccia grattugiata
  • 90 g cioccolato fondente (70% cacao), tritato grossolanamente

Instructions

  1. Nella ciotola di un robot da cucina aggiungere lo zucchero, il burro a cubetti e la farina setacciata con il lievito. Lavorare fino ad ottenere una consistenza “sabbiosa”.
  2. Quindi aggiungere le uova, la vaniglia, la scorza di limone e mescolare brevemente il compost. Non surriscaldare l’impasto con le lame.
  3. Versalo su una superficie di lavoro e lavoralo leggermente con le mani e formare una palla di pasta. Schiacciatela leggermente e avvolgetela con la plastica. Lasciatela riposare in frigo per circa 1/2 ora o 1 ora.
  4. Nel frattempo, in una ciotola, aggiungere la ricotta e sbatterla con una frusta insieme allo zucchero.
  5. Aggiungere l’uovo e la scorza d’arancia. Mescolare delicatamente con lafrusta fino a ottenere un composto omogeneo. Infine, aggiungere il cioccolato fondente tritato. Mettere da parte.
  6. Prendere la pasta frolla dal frigorifero, se necessario portarla a temperatura lavorandola leggermente con le mani. Tagliare un pezzo (circa 1/4) che servirà per le strisce decorative e rimetterlo in frigo.
  7. Stendere la pasta rimanente con un mattarello su una superficie infarinata di circa 4 mm di spessore.
  8. Arrotolare la pastafrolla stesa sul mattarello e srotolarla in uno stampo rettangolare con un fondo rimovibile o uno stampo rotondocon apertura a molla (circa 22-24 cm di diametro). Se si rompe non ti preoccupare, usa delicatamente le mani per rimetterlo insieme.
  9. Con un coltello affilato, tagliare la pasta in eccesso sui bordi e forare il fondo con una forchetta.
  10. Preriscaldare il forno a 180° C (350° F). Riempire con la miscela di ricotta, levigandola con un cucchiaio.
  11. Prendere l’altro pezzo di pasta frolla dal frigo e stenderlo con uno spessore di 3 mm. Tagliare le strisce con una rotella da pasta. Disporre le strisce di pasta in un reticolo sopra il ripieno.
  12. Cuocere in forno preriscaldato per circa 45-50 minuti. Controllarla spesso durante gli ultimi minuti di cottura. Quando le strisce sono dorate sulla superficie, è pronta.
  13. Toglierla dal forno e lasciarla riposare per alcune ore su una gratella, finché non si raffredda completamente.
  14. Dopo il tempo di riposo, estrarla dallo stampo, e cospargere l’intera superficie con abbondante zucchero a velo.
  15. Conservare in frigorifero, leggermente coperta, e consumare entro due-tre giorni. È buona sia fredda, un po’ come una cheesecake, o a temperatura ambiente per un effetto più cremoso.

Notes

Se usate questa tortiera rettangolare (35 x 11 cm) vi avanzerà un po’ di pastafrolla. Potete farci dei biscotti o 1 – 2 crostatine alla marmellata o cioccolata.

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18 Comments

  • Reply Lorraine Parente March 15, 2018 at 12:44 pm

    What size tart pan is that??

    • Nicoletta
      Reply Nicoletta March 15, 2018 at 1:14 pm

      35 x 11 cm, but you will have some leftover dough. I made a couple crostatine (tartlets) with jam.

  • Reply Lorraine Parente March 15, 2018 at 2:30 pm

    Thank you….I am literally in the middle making Pastiera and they are in the oven right now….I made them each different, with grain, rice, or pasta….I wish I would have seen this post because it looks to die for. I will make it with the leftover ricotta but wait until after Easter….happy holiday

    • Nicoletta
      Reply Nicoletta March 15, 2018 at 11:00 pm

      Thank you! Pretty good that you’re making Pastiera! I’ll be making Pastiera next Saturday in Rome, at a course with a renowned pastry chef. I’ll be posting it after. I just love pastiera and all desserts with ricotta 😉

  • Reply maria March 16, 2018 at 7:06 am

    As much as I love Christmas baking, I think I prefer all the wonderful traditional baked goods made for Easter. As you say, there are so many recipes that use ricotta… I love it! I also like all the variations that exist. Your crostata looks perfect Nicoletta. I am hoping to post my recipe before Easter… Thanks for sharing yet another wonderful recipe ♥

    • Nicoletta
      Reply Nicoletta March 16, 2018 at 10:02 am

      Thank you, Maria! So many great recipes for Easter, I love them all. Can’t wait to see what you made, I’ll be posting my Pastiera before Easter too.

  • Reply crumbtopbaking March 16, 2018 at 10:25 am

    Oh my goodness, this looks like a perfect dessert for spring! Love the sound of the ricotta filling with orange zest and dark chocolate. Those chocolate chunks in the filling are calling may name!

    • Nicoletta
      Reply Nicoletta March 16, 2018 at 10:36 am

      Thank you! As a chocolate lover I’d say that the chunks of dark chocolate just make this tart super awesome 🙂 .

  • Reply Vanessa | Zest & Simmer March 16, 2018 at 3:34 pm

    Oh does this ever look luscious and delicious! I love chocolate orange so I can imagine just how lovely this would taste!

    • Nicoletta
      Reply Nicoletta March 17, 2018 at 12:26 am

      It is so delicious! I really do hope people make it and taste it themselves! Thank you! 🙂

  • Reply Lorraine Parente March 16, 2018 at 4:27 pm

    Wow, enjoy going to Rome….sounds like a wonderful time!! Hope you post recipe because I would definitely like to try whatever you make…..made grain pie for the first time and I did not prep the wheatberries well enough so I need to learn how and practice more

    • Nicoletta
      Reply Nicoletta March 17, 2018 at 12:28 am

      I am in Rome, I am from here, my parents, brother, friends live here. I spend the winter here, then I’ll go back to Canada to my husband 🙂 . I’ll post it for sure, with hopefully all the tips.

  • Reply Jenni LeBaron March 16, 2018 at 9:51 pm

    What a gorgeous dish. I especially love the chocolate and orange in the filling!

    • Nicoletta
      Reply Nicoletta March 17, 2018 at 12:32 am

      Dark chocolate and orange is such a great pairing! Thank you!

  • Reply diversivore March 17, 2018 at 12:04 pm

    Simply exquisite. I don’t know how you survived having three crostata to choose from on the same table. I might have been paralyzed by indecision. Ahhh, who am I kidding? I would have just had them all. Multiple servings of them all. I love seeing desserts that use cheeses, and the silky heavenly ricotta (oh to have the real Roman stuff) sounds absolutely amazing. Gotta say, spring in Italy sounds pretty incredible to me. Cheers!

    • Nicoletta
      Reply Nicoletta March 17, 2018 at 11:48 pm

      Aha, ah, exactly, I had all three 😉 . You would love to taste the real Ricotta Romana, so different from the commercial ricotta in the plastic containers! Thank you! Yes, food here is always incredible and in spring it is great!

  • Reply Marisa March 18, 2018 at 8:23 pm

    It’s simply not Easter with a least one kind of ricotta dessert in one form or another for me! I would have to say that ricotta, orange and chocolate is my absolute favourite combination. I love that you made it in a rectangular tart tin, it looks elegant and quite delicious!

    • Nicoletta
      Reply Nicoletta March 20, 2018 at 10:53 pm

      I know…Easter means ricotta desserts in every part of Italy. They are so so good and this crostata is simply amazing. Thank you so much!!

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