Good lord do I love Italian food. Jus’ sayin’.
I do not need any more Italian Cookbooks, but I pick them up the same way that a numismatician picks up coins. When I see a new one, I have to at least look at it, and most likely it will end up in my collection, regardless of its quality.
The latest into my library is The New Regional Italian Cuisine Cookbook, which, if I ever were to write a Italian Cookbook, would look remarkably like this one. Recipes are not only divided into regions, but also into Antipasti, Primi Piatti (first course), Secondi Piatti (second course), Contorni (vegetables, including salads), and Dolci (desserts). And unlike the great majority of the Italian Cookbooks found here in the States, pasta takes a distinct back seat. There are sections which cover specific ingredients, and each region gets its own wine guide.
It is from this book that the recipe below comes from. It contains ricotta cheese, lemon, and sugar, all in a tart. There’s little more needed in a dessert in my opinion.
- 1 3/4 cup All-Purpose Flour
- 1/4 sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla sugar (or 1 tsp vanilla)
- Salt, pinch
- 5 Tbsp unsalted butter, chilled and cubed
- 1 egg yolk
- 6 oz. Limoncello (water will work if Limoncello cannot be found)
For the filling
- 4 Large lemons
- 2 eggs
- 1 1/4 sugar
- 16 oz Ricotta Cheese
- 2 Tbsp powdered Sugar
Starting with the dough ingredients, mix together the flour, sugar, vanilla sugar and salt together. Add the butter and egg yolk, and work together by hand. Add an ounce of the limoncello and incorporate that into the dough. Repeat until you get the consistency to the point where you can shape the dough into a ball.
Roll out the dough between two pieces of parchment paper until it is slightly larger than your tart pan (I used my 9 inch tart pan, but it could have accommodated the ten inch). Line the pan with the dough and place in the refrigerator to chill for at least one half of an hour.
Pre heat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Zest two lemons and set the zest aside. Get the juice from one of the two zested lemons. Also set aside.
In a glass bowl, cream together the 2 eggs with 3/4 cup of the sugar. Fold in the ricotta cheese, and mix well. Fold in the zest and lemon juice.
Pour the filling into the chilled tart shell. Place in the oven and bake for forty five minutes. Remove and allow to cool.
Slice the remaining two lemons into thin slices, and quarter those slices.
Meanwhile, in a skillet place the remaining 1/2 cup of sugar with 10 tablespoons of water. Mix and bring to a boil. Add the lemon slices and lower the heat to a simmer. Allow to simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
Place the sugared lemon slices on the tart before serving. Dust with powdered sugar.