‘Visciole’ are sour cherries often used in tarts in Italy, particularly in Rome. Crostata di ricotta and visciole is a dessert that belongs to Roman Jewish traditions, and if you ever pass through the Jewish Ghetto in Rome, you really should make sure that you taste the authentic recipe…… which happens to be a well kept secret. While it is common to use fresh visciole, it is perfectly acceptable to use a store bought jar of jam and it’s the way I usually make it. If you can’t buy ‘visciole’, you can use cherry jam.
Crostata di Ricotta & Visciole
- 300g plain flour
- 150g cold butter
- 150g sugar
- 2 eggs + 1 yolk
- zest of 1 lemon
- 300g jar of Visciole jam
- 400g sheep’s ricotta
- 80g sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 tablespoon sambuca
- 1 lightly beaten egg yolk + milk to brush over pastry
- icing sugar
- For the pastry, add all ingredients to a food processor and mix until a dough forms. Turn out onto a lightly floured board and knead a little and form into a flat disc. Add extra flour if dough is sticky. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
- Roll out the pastry and line a 24cm diameter tart tin. Prick the base of the pastry with a fork. Don’t trim pastry at border yet.
- Spoon visciole jam into the tart tin, smoothing evenly over pastry.
- In a bowl, add the ricotta, sugar, eggs and sambuca and mix until well combined. Gently spoon the ricotta mixture on top of the jam.
- Roll out remaining pastry, cut into even strips and apply in a criss-cross fashion on top of the ricotta. Press extremities into the pastry border and with a sharp knife, trim all excess overlapping pastry.
- Beat the egg yolk and milk and brush it over the pastry strips and border with a pastry brush.
- Bake at 170°C for about 50 minutes, or until pastry is lightly golden and the ricotta has set.
- Remove from oven, allow to cool and dust with icing sugar before serving.
- Keeps for 3 – 4 days refrigerated.
*I decorated mine with cherry shapes made from left over pastry and a cherry plunger cutter. You can buy these in kitchenware or specialty cake decorating shops.
CROSTATA DI RICOTTA E VISCIOLE
- 300g farina ’00’
- 150g burro, a temperatura da frigo
- 150g zucchero semolato
- 2 uova + 1 tuorlo
- scorza di 1 limone
- 300g marmellata di visciole
- 400g ricotta di pecora
- 80g zucchero
- 2 uova
- 1 cucchiaio di sambuca
- 1 tuorlo, leggermente sbattuto, più latte per spennellare sopra la frolla.
- zucchero a velo