Pastiera di Ricotta (Ricotta Flan)

A creamy cheese filling, flavoured with light citrus notes and flecked through with candied peel, is contrasted with the crisp bite of sweet pastry - another lush pud by Gino D'Acampo...
By Gino D'Acampo
Pastiera di Ricotta (Ricotta Flan)
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 10
  • Cook Time: 50 minutes
  • Prep Time: 40 minutes
  • Effort: medium


For the pastry

  • 225 g unsalted butter, softened
  • 175 g caster sugar
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 450 g plain flour, plus extra for dusting

For the filling

  • 115 g caster sugar
  • 450 g ricotta cheese
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • limoncello liqueur, to taste
  • 4 tbsp orange flower water
  • 200 g dark chocolate chips
  • 115 g candied orange or mixed peel, chopped
  • 1 egg, separated
  • 550 ml milk
  • 115 g vermicelli noodles
  • large pinch salt
  • icing sugar, for dusting


1. For the pastry; cream the butter and sugar in a bowl until light and fluffy. Add the egg yolks and gradually stir in the flour, mixing well to make a soft, but not sticky dough. Wrap the pastry in greaseproof paper and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

2. For the filling; reserve 2 tablespoons of the sugar for later use, and combine the remainder with the ricotta cheese, cinnamon, limoncello, orange-flower water, chocolate chips, candied peel and egg yolk.

3. Bring the milk to a boil and add the vermicelli, the remaining 2 tablespoons sugar, and a pinch of salt. Simmer, until the vermicelli absorbs the milk - about 5-7 minutes. Blend the pasta into the ricotta mixture while still warm.

4. Whisk the egg white until it just holds its shape, and fold into the ricotta mixture.

5. Roll out the pastry on a floured surface and use to line the bottom and sides of a 24cm loose-bottomed flan tin. Remove any excess from the edges of the tin with a rolling pin. Roll out any trimmings and cut into long strips about 0.5cm wide. Preheat the oven to 190C/gas 5.

6. Pour the ricotta filling into the case. Lay the thin pastry strips over the flan, in a criss-cross pattern to make a lattice decoration.

7. Bake the flan for 40-50 minutes, until the filling is set and the pastry golden.
Dust with icing sugar, and serve warm or at room temperature.

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