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.
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
- 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.
- Then add the eggs, vanilla, lemon zest, and pulse the mixture just until slightly mixed. Do not overheat the pastry with the blades.
- 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.
- In the meantime, in a bowl, add the ricotta and beat it with a whisk along with the sugar.
- Add the egg, and the orange zest.
- Stir gently with a whisk until the mixture is smooth. Finally, add the chopped dark chocolate. Set aside.
- 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.
- Roll out the remaining pastry with a rolling pin on a floured surface to about a 4 mm thickness.
- 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.
- With a sharp knife, cut the excess dough on the borders and puncture the bottom with the tins of a fork.
- Preheat the oven to 180° C (350° F). Fill the pastry shell with the ricotta mixture, smoothing it with a spoon.
- 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.
- 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.
- Take it out of the oven and let it rest for a few hours on a rack, until it cools completely.
- After the resting time, extract it from the mold, sprinkle the whole surface with plenty of icing sugar.
- 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.
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.