One of the many things that surprised me the most when we moved to USA was (and still does!) noticing how much Americans generally loves creamy, super sweet, frosted colorful cakes and cupcakes, simple sponge cakes’ bases literally buried in butter cream, frosting, icing, or whatever… the only exception of this rule I found living here is on Thanksgiving day: the most typical pies served on this occasion are usually “dry”, not too much sweet and very aromatic. Of course, I am talking about pecan pie, pumpkin pie, apple pie, sweet potato pie. Today I would like to share with you a new pie recipe that is dry, not too much sweet and slightly aromatic that could suit a Thanksgiving meal with an Italian touch! Also, on a practical side, Thanksgiving is always an holiday where you want to have everything perfect, and possibly prepared in advance to be able to enjoy your family, and this tart suites perfectly this necessities since it is absolutely easy to be prepared, it takes very little “hands-on” time, and if prepared a day ahead it tastes even better!
If you have been following me you should know that Amaretti are common Italian pastry biscuits, made mainly with almonds, egg whites and sugar. I’ve already posted a few phenomenal dessert recipes with Amaretti (Amaretti & Rum tiramisu, Dame’s kisses, Meringata), and if you have liked their special taste, you have to try even this tart! Almonds and Amaretti taste very good combined with ricotta cheese and the crumble base is always a win/win: super easy to make and delicious! Concluding, if you are wondering where you could find Amaretti (besides on the web) I would say that they always keep a few packages (especially close to the winter festivities) at Tuesday Morning, at TJ MAX, at Schnucks. Their expiration date is usually pretty far away so when I find them I usually buy a good bunch!
INGREDIENTS for a 10″ springform round pan
For the pastry
1 stick unsalted butter (100 gr.)
1/2 cup sugar (100 gr.)
2 tsp. almond extract
2 cups all purpose flour (300 gr.)
2 tps. baking powder (16 gr.)
For the filling
7 oz. (1 package) Amaretti cookies (200 gr.)
15 oz. ricotta (whole or part skim) – (425 gr.)
1/3 unsalted almond (50 gr.)
1/2 cup granulated sugar (100 gr.)
In a food processor mix together ricotta cheese, Amaretti, egg, almonds and sugar. You will obtain a velvety and dense cream (absolutely good to be eaten raw!).
In a bowl, combine butter, almond extract and sugar first until they are very well mixed. Then the egg and keep stirring. Add the flour sifted with the baking powder. Stir until the egg, butter and sugar have been absorbed into the flour and the mixture has a crumble texture.
The mixture will be lumpy and that is right and normal. To arrange the tart, butter the springpan and sprinkle with flour. Spoon 3/4 of the crumby dough mixture into the prepard pan and keep the rest to decorate the top of the pie. Spread the dough evenly (you can even use your fingers) completely covering the bottom of the pan. Be sure to press the dough up the sides of the pan at least 1/4 inch to contain the ricotta cream while it bakes and to apply some holes to the dough by using the tips of a fork.
Pour the ricotta cream on top of the firmed crust and crumble the remaining dough on top of the cream. If you like, you can decorate the sides of the cake, again using the tips of a fork. Bake at 365 F. (180 C.) for about 40-45 minutes. It will be done when the crust gets golden and the ricotta cream changes color.
LEARNT IT, MADE IT, LOVED IT!
TIPS: – I don’t know if it has ever happened to you but occasionally I forget a package of ricotta cheese in the very back of the refrigerator, only to find it once it’s already expired. If the ricotta hasn’t really got bad yet, but you don’t trust eating it raw, make this tart and you will avoid the food-waste guilt and you’ll be guaranteed a delicious outcome!
– If you want to make a less fat tart, you can use part skim ricotta cheese: you won’t even notice the difference!
It would really make me feel proud knowing you intend to try this cake as your Thanksgiving dessert, but even if you’ll don’t, or if you decide to try it on a different day it doesn’t matter! What matters it that you’ll like it! And if you do, please
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