Wednesday, May 9, 2018

"Burned" Ricotta Pie #recipe from author @DarylWoodGerber

From Daryl:

I am now on a mission to go through all the cookbooks with recipes that I've tagged - those little stickies are so helpful! - and I'm going to make them. After that, I'm on a mission to go through all the recipes I've torn out of magazines knowing one day I'd make them.

One at a time. Something new. Something that is a challenge. Enough with boring same-old, same-old. I can make barbecue chicken like it's going out of a style, but how about a new barbecue sauce? I can make fish until the cows come home, but how about a lemon sauce I've never tried?

I decided I'd start with one cookbook, the Best of the Best 2018  (Food and Wine). The pictures are gorgeous. I've torn dozens of recipes out of Food and Wine magazines. These have to be good, right? A few weeks ago, I shared a meatball recipe that turned out great.

This dessert I'm sharing really caught my eye. It was burned. I'm not kidding. They'd messed up, right? Not! My husband used to love "burned" toast and the overcooked end of a roast. I decided I had to try this in his honor.   

Oh, wow. It's intensive to make, but oh, wow!  And it's just as good for breakfast (cold or room temperature) as it is for dessert.


LAZIO from Best of the Best 2013

1 quantity Sweet Pastry (recipe follows)
2 pounds fresh ricotta cheese
1 small egg or ½ large one
1/3 cup superfine sugar
3 ½ ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
1 large egg yolk
generous ¼ cup confectioners’ sugar

Divide the pastry into two unequal balls, one of them one-and-a-half times the weight of the other. Roll the smaller into a 7-inch disc, and the larger one 9 ½ - 10 inches (approximately). The dough is fragile, and it is easiest to roll between two sheets of parchment paper, flouring the sheet below and the top of the dough to prevent sticking. Peel off the top sheet of paper and leave the rolled pastry on the lower one. Put the smaller disc, still on its sheet of parchment paper, onto a baking sheet.

Mix together the ricotta, egg, and superfine sugar, as well as the chopped chocolate. Pile this filling in a dome heap in the center of the smaller round of pastry, leaving about a ¾-inch border. Carefully pick up the larger circle of pastry (*tip: to prevent breaking, it might be best to wrap it, with its under-paper, around a rolling pin). Lay it over the filling.  Peel off the top sheet of paper and crimp the edges all the way around.

Mix together the egg yolk and confectioners’ sugar, add a drop of water to make a thick glaze, and paint it over the top of the pie to help it burn. Bake the pie in an oven preheated to its very maximum (500 degrees F) with the fan off for that perfect brûlée.  (At most, 10 minutes). The pie will spread a little, crack in a couple of places, and ebonise (which means to make look like ebony).

As soon as the whole surface of the pie is blackened, turn the oven down to 350 degrees F and continue to bake, until the cake has cooked for a total of 45 minutes.

Turn off the oven and leave the cake inside for 20 minutes to rest. Take it out, let cool, and serve at room temperature. Per the Food and Wine recipe, "as with many Italian desserts, it is just as good for breakfast as for dessert."

* FYI, warm from the oven doesn't hold together as well as the morning "refrigerated" version. Both tasted divine.


4 cups all-purpose flour
1 2/3 cups confectioners’ sugar
a pinch of salt
1 tablespoon baking powder
3/4 cup unsalted butter, cold, diced
2 large eggs
1 large egg yolk
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
finely grated zest of 1 small lemon

Sift together the flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder. Add the butter and quickly work it in with your fingers, trying not to warm it up. Add the whole eggs, the yolk, the vanilla, and the lemon zest. Bring the dough together, but do not overwork it, as it would become tough.  Wrap it in 2 parts (see above in recipe) with plastic wrap. Set in refrigerator until firm, about a half hour.


Now, I made this gluten-free for me, using a mixture gluten-free flours. I did NOT add xanthan gum, as this is really a “pie crust”.  I mixed the GF flour, confectioners’ sugar, and salt first in a Cuisinart food processor. I poured the GF flour mixture into a large bowl. Then in two batches, I added the butter to incorporate.  I returned the GF flour/butter mixture to the large bowl and added the egg, vanilla, and zest.  I used a blender to mix.  It is a VERY crumbly mixture.

WHEN I ROLLED OUT THE PASTRY, I used the instructions in the pie recipe. But the edges were breaking a bit, so I patted the edges with water to make them blend together. The trick about wrapping the pastry around a rolling pin was ingenious!

Warm from the oven, sort of collapses a bit. The edges of the pie taste a lot like biscotti.

The morning slice held together better than the warm from the oven slice.

Savor the mystery!

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  1. I like extra crispy things so I will try that burned pie. What's to lose? If I don't like the burned part I will still munch happily on the rest.

    1. The burned part really does taste like the top of a brulee. Yum! Enjoy ~ Daryl

  2. Good for you to attack you recipe collection.
    I, too, have voluminous amounts of recipes I've collected, both physical (cut from a magazine or hand-copied from somewhere) and in e-files.
    If I started today and tried one each day, I think my great-grandchildren will still be working on them!

    1. Ha! Libby, I know what you mean. I don't think I'll ever get through them, but one a week will be fun. ~ Daryl

  3. I enjoy burned extra crispy food too! Glad to know I'm not alone!

  4. This is such an unusual recipe. Am really inclined to try it just out of curiosity!