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Old 04-11-2006, 11:49 AM   #21
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Wow Licia- this sounds great!!!!
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Old 04-11-2006, 12:07 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VickiQ
I haven't had any experieince with a vanilla pod-sorry-I do have a few recipes that call for it but, I somehow haven't tried any yet-maybe this is my incentive!!!
I've always been to chicken to try it. I'm sure I will get up the nerve one of these days. Silly, eh!

Take care
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Old 04-11-2006, 12:54 PM   #23
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,
*if you can find it, try it with ricotta di pecora (made with sheep milk) or bufala (buffalo milk), as they are much richer and creamier in flavour. Then you can increase the amount of the ricotta and reduce the amount of mascarpone.

There are many variations of "Torta di ricotta" (ricotta cake) in Italy. I will post some more if you are interested![/quote]




Thanks for the post, I was hoping someone from Italy would respond.

"Finding it" is not an option for me. Either I make it (the cheeses) or try another recipe. All I have available right now is goats' milk ricotta and chevre cheeses.

I would be interested in another recipe that does well with ricotta cheese. I will be making the cheese cake in the next couple of days, so your post is not too late.
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Old 04-11-2006, 01:21 PM   #24
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letscook - your recipe is just like my good friend's mom's recipe (her mom was from Northern Italy) & urmaniac - your recipe also sound so interesting.
I was planning to make this for Easter Sunday - now I can't decide which recipe to try! Sandyj
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Old 04-11-2006, 04:26 PM   #25
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Cheeeeeeeeese Cake!

Urmania13;

What a great looking recipe, I have seen cheese cake recipies cooked at 160 C (325 F) and I've seen them cooked at 190 C (375 F). Could I ask you what tempurature do you think would be best for yours?

Thanks
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Old 04-12-2006, 05:46 AM   #26
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Beth, here is a nice seasonal recipe for another typical, delicious Italian cake teeming with ricotta "Pastiera Napolitana". We make this for Easter every year, we just made a big batch last Sunday.
The only concern is that whether cooked wheat grain, one of its essential ingredients, is available outside Italy. We use the precooked "grano" that comes in a jar, produced especially for making this cake, but if such a thing doesn't exist abroad, the closest option I can think of is to precook ebly. Or if this is not found in your neighbourhood either, I believe rice or oatmeal can be used, it will not be exactly the same but would be equally delicious.

Pastiera Napolitana



Ingredients:
(this makes a very large pie or 2 of them, as we usually make a big batch when we do this. You can halve the amount of ingredients for a smaller portion.)
700g/1lb 9oz of softly cooked wheat grain.
300ml/10,5oz of whole milk
50g/1,8oz of lard or butter
1100g/2,4lb or ricotta (again, preferably of sheep milk)
960g/2lb+ of sugar
8 eggs + 3 yolk
a few drops of vanilla
a few drops of orange flower water
1 large lemon, grate the zest, and the juice
50g/1,8oz of candied citrus (or orange), finely chopped

for crust,
800g/1,8lb flour
5 eggs
320g/11oz sugar
320g/11oz lard or butter (lard is strongly recommended however)

In a large pot or skillet, heat the grain with milk and lard/butter. Cook, stirring often, for about 10minutes until it attains a creamy texture.
In a large bowl whip together the ricotta, sugar, eggs and yolks, vanilla and orange flower water.
Add the cooked grain/milk mixture to the ricotta mixture, lemon zest & juice and candied citrus, combine them well until smooth.
for the crust, combine all the ingredients well, knead it to form a smooth dough. Press the dough evenly onto a buttered form dusted with bread crumbs (alternatively you can line the form with a baking paper), the dough should be about 5mm thickness. You can use one large form or 2 smaller ones.
With the extra dough you can make thin strips and make a decorative cris-cross on the surface of the cake. (classic design, however somehow we never have enough leftover for this...)
Bake in the oven at 170°C/325°C for about 45minutes (if it is very large up to 1 hour), or until the surface is golden brown.
Let it cool completely, dust the surface generously with powdered sugar.
Pastiera keeps in the fridge for about a week.
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Old 04-12-2006, 05:50 AM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BrianMorin
Urmania13;

What a great looking recipe, I have seen cheese cake recipies cooked at 160° C (325° F) and I've seen them cooked at 190° C (375 ° F). Could I ask you what tempurature do you think would be best for yours?

Thanks
Oops I forgot to mention the oven temp... I bake mine at 180°C/350°C. I also made the change on the recipe, thanks for reminding me Bri!

BTW for the grain used on the above mentioned Pastiera recipe, I found this (scroll down a bit, it is "Fratelli Rebecchi "Granocotto".), so I guess it CAN be found elsewhere too.... however it is rather hideously overpriced. I would try with ebly, IMO that would be the best possible option.

Beth, I never tried Ricotta di capra (goat milk ricotta)!! Let me know what kind of flavour it has, and how your cheesecake turned out!
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Old 04-12-2006, 08:04 AM   #28
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(((Licia))) You're bringing back VERY fond memories of Easters with my grandmother and aunts!!!Graci-Graci!!!!!:)Love and enregy, Vicki
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Old 04-12-2006, 08:32 AM   #29
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Hi Licia,

Thank you for the updates and new recipe. And thanks Bri, for the oven temp question!! I had missed that issue.

I make three different ricotta cheeses, all made with either fresh milk or fresh whey. The flavors are bland. I almost exclusively use these cheeses in cooking or baking. In cooking with them, they are added to lasagna type dishes calling for ricotta. I also buy a lot of cheese, I buy mozzarella and parmesan in 5 pound bags! And in baking, I mainly make cheesecakes, or cookies. I make a fresh soft cheese, chevre, that is also bland but can be flavored a thousand ways, usually savory.

Right now I have thawed that last of last years cheeses and have not started cheese production for this season. So I only have enough cheese for one cake. Once I make the cheese starter, I am locked into heavy cheese production and I do not have the time for that in the Spring.

This is very exciting.........thanks for you help, Licia!!
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Old 04-12-2006, 09:01 AM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bethzaring
Hi Licia,

Thank you for the updates and new recipe. And thanks Bri, for the oven temp question!! I had missed that issue.

I make three different ricotta cheeses, all made with either fresh milk or fresh whey. The flavors are bland. I almost exclusively use these cheeses in cooking or baking. In cooking with them, they are added to lasagna type dishes calling for ricotta. I also buy a lot of cheese, I buy mozzarella and parmesan in 5 pound bags! And in baking, I mainly make cheesecakes, or cookies. I make a fresh soft cheese, chevre, that is also bland but can be flavored a thousand ways, usually savory.

Right now I have thawed that last of last years cheeses and have not started cheese production for this season. So I only have enough cheese for one cake. Once I make the cheese starter, I am locked into heavy cheese production and I do not have the time for that in the Spring.

This is very exciting.........thanks for you help, Licia!!
Whoa Beth, I really envy you... the homemade FRESH ricotta made from FRESH milk must be wonderful!! I have tasted ricotta and some other fresh cheeses that were made on site by the farmers while we were in the country side and I know for a fact the stuff you buy from supermarkets just don't compare. Maybe one day you could experiment with the fresh mozzarella as well, as they are also excellent to say the least, when it is truly fresh!!
If it is on the bland side, mixing it with mascarpone, like I do on the cheesecake recipe adds the extra creaminess.

Vicki, I am glad that my recipe made you happy... give it a try, that will make you and your family even happier!!

For both of you I will try to post a cannoli recipe later, a Sicilian specialty filled with ricotta cream... another winner!! Stay tuned
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