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Old 04-11-2006, 10:49 AM   #21
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Wow Licia- this sounds great!!!!
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Old 04-11-2006, 11:07 AM   #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, 11:54 AM   #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, 12:21 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, 03:26 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, 04:46 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, 04:50 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, 07:04 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, 07:32 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, 08:01 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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Old 04-12-2006, 08:04 AM   #31
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When I make cannolis I have to make 2 batches of filling- one for my family to devour and one to actually get into the shells!!!
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Old 04-12-2006, 09:02 AM   #32
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Hi Lucia,

I will be looking forward to the cannoli recipe.
I have tried to make mozzarella cheese many times, but I can not get a consistent, acceptable product. And the recipes I have used have such a varied technique it makes you wonder how such different techniques could possibly yield the same cheese.
I love milk and cheese and am very lucky to have my own personal milk supply. At least, I keep reminding myself of that when it it 100 degrees F and we are scrambling to get in the hay.
I will look into making mascarpone. I know I have a recipe for it, but I am completely unfamiliar with it. I would not know if it turned out right!
Don't forget the cannoli recipe when you get a chance!

Beth
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Old 04-12-2006, 09:03 AM   #33
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Cannoli Siciliani!

Here is the recipe for Cannoli Siciliani that I promised...

However there is one hic up... we have this and I didn't think about it initially, but this recipe requires a special instrument "cannoli form", small metal tubes to hold their shapes. I did a search and they should be available and not so costly, but maybe you can be creative and form them into an alternative shape... or Vicki, do you have any suggestions on this?

Cannoli Siciliani



the shells(scorze)

200g/6,5 oz flour
20g/about 1 generous tablespoonful of lard
30g/1oz sugar
2 tbsp dry marsala (or more, as needed)
1/2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder or cinnamon (optional)
pinch of salt
oil / lard for frying.

the filling
800g/1,8oz of FRESH ricotta
200g/6oz of dark chocolate, shaved or chopped finely
350g/12oz sugar
100g/3,5oz of candied orange peel, chopped finely
powdered sugar

Optional (to make them look prettier)
chopped, peeled pistacchio
maraschino cherries, halved

Making of the shells(scorze):
sift the flour, blend with the sugar and salt, work the lard into the flour mixture.
Addin the marsala gradually, knead into a smooth, tight dough.
Form a ball, cover with a wet cloth and let it rest for at least 30 minutes.
Then stretch it into 2-3mm thickness with a rolling pin.
Slice the dough in either square or circular shape, about 10-12cm/4-5inch diametre.
wrap each pieces tightly around cannolo forms (lightly greased), slightly overlapping both ends pressing the point together.
Fry them in generous amount of oil, or better, lard, heated to about 185°C/390°F, a few pieces at a time.
(you wouldn't want to cook too many together so as not to dring down the oil temp.)
Cook them into golden all over, about 4,5 minutes.
Let them drain off the excess oil on a absorbent paper.
When they are cooled GENTLY remove the cannolo form in the centre, this can be a tricky business, hold the centre of the shell, then gently push out the tube.

Now, onto the filling...
pass the ricotta through a wire mesh sieve.
Whip the ricotta together with sugar until smooth, then fold in the chocolate and orange peel. Mix them in gently and evenly.
Fill this mixture into the cannoli shells(scorze), using the pastry bag (or you can just make a hole in one corner of a plastic bag).
Sprinkle generously with powdered sugar.
For a decorative effect, dip the each end into chopped pistacchi, then place a halved maraschino cherries in the middle of the both ends.
Enjoy!!
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Old 04-12-2006, 09:55 AM   #34
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Beth, ovbiously your reply came while I was scribbling away the cannoli recipe...

I have seen the extended guide of proper mozzarella production in one of our La Cucina Italiana magazines not too long ago, this is one of the most esteemed cooking publications in Italy and their articles are to be trusted. I will try to find and translate it for you if you are interested!
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Old 04-12-2006, 10:50 AM   #35
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[
I have seen the extended guide of proper mozzarella production in one of our La Cucina Italiana magazines not too long ago, this is one of the most esteemed cooking publications in Italy and their articles are to be trusted. I will try to find and translate it for you if you are interested![/quote]



Thanks for the offer of translating a mozz recipe, but let me look through my collection of recipes first before you go to that trouble. I did find my mascarpone recipe and it starts with cream, not milk, so that is a big clue for me. The recipe only has two ingredients, cream and tartaric acid. I wonder what tartaric acid is? Would mascarpone be like a stiff sour cream?

You know what I like about cheesemaking is that the finished product can always be used in some way. I used to not name what cheese I was making until after it was done and I saw what it was like. No sense in saying I was making a mozzarella if it turned out like a gouda.
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Old 04-12-2006, 10:53 AM   #36
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Oh, and the cannoli recipe, I could be happy with just the filling. Thanks for posting it!!
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Old 04-12-2006, 11:56 AM   #37
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Sure Beth, if all else fails, I will be always here to answer your question or translate the mozzarella recipes or whatever with great pleasure!!

Yes, mascarpone is cream based, thus there is no wonder it is so creamy and rich!! Good luck on it and let me know how it comes out if you try... mamma mia... the cheese making sounds more and more interesting!!

And yes again... I think you and Vicki and I all agree on the fact that Cannoli filling makes a great "dessert al cucchiaio", or spoon dessert just by itself!! We also eat it this way often, and the fresher the ricotta the better!!
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Old 04-12-2006, 02:01 PM   #38
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Hi Lucia,

I really appreciate the offer for the mozz instructions. I won't ask you to look up the instructions until I am sure I would make use of it. I am still a couple of months away from that type of cheese production and I have not studied my cheese recipes since last year.
I sure am tempted to make a couple batches of quick ricotta to try the recipes listed above. Right now I am unexpectedly supplying a neighbor with milk and that is cutting into my milk supply for quick cheeses.
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Old 04-12-2006, 02:33 PM   #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by urmaniac13
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.

Pastiera Napolitana


I love this cake and I've just looked at the picture... I'll have to make it for il mio amore Suzanne.
I'm not sure I said that right but what the heck...

You can find the branch office of Ebly, closest to you att one of these links...

Ebly Branches 1
Ebly Branches 2
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Old 04-12-2006, 02:44 PM   #40
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Hi- I have seen the tube forms in ALL of the cooking baking supply stores I've been in- even bed bath and beyond!!
I have also used the filling in between layers of rum soaked yellow cake and "frosted" with sweetened whipped cream.I have used it layered with berries and pound cake as well.BUT just PLAIN is good enough!!!
I have made it with marscapone and keep forgetting I like the consistency better this way when I am doing the cake thing.
Love and energy, Vicki
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