This cake is best served with a cup of tea in the afternoon. I thought I’d save the sweets for Sunday, because once a week you can indulge in a little sweetness! During the weekend it becomes easier to find the time to devote to the creation of desserts.
If you have children at home, always allow them to participate in cooking, particularly in the preparation of desserts that require the manipulation of ingredients. Children will surely make things bit messier, but it will help them grow and to have a positive relationship with food and also with you.
The base of this cake is a pastry. It can also be used to simplify a ready or prepared puff pastry base.
2 cups of all-purpose flour
1 stick of unsalted butter
⅓ cup sugar
1 egg yolk
a pinch of salt
5 drops of pure vanilla extract
1 glass of cold water
It’s important to prepare all the ingredients on the table, have your ingredients weighed and your tools out to help in the preparation of the recipe. This will help facilitate the preparation work and you won’t have to move around with dirty hands trying to open kitchen cabinets to look for ingredients or tools.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Pour the flour in a large bowl. Cut the butter into small pieces and add it to the flour with a pinch of salt. With your fingers, work the flour and butter. This will create crumbs.
- Add the sugar, vanilla, and egg yolk. With your hands, begin to knead the mixture more quickly to form a ball. If you cannot form a ball, add two tablespoons of cold water and knead again, and if it still does come together, add another tablespoon of cold water. Cover the dough with a cloth and place it in the fridge for 30 minutes.
In the meantime, prepare the filling.
2 cups fresh whole milk ricotta
½ cup plain whole milk yogurt
3 ¼ tablespoons butter
1 ½ cup mixed raisins (Corinto, Sultanas, and Malaga)
4 tablespoons semolina flour
1 lemon (rind only)
¾ cup sugar
A small glass of brandy (you can also use the contents of a miniature bottle)
2 tablespoons powdered sugar
- Put the raisins in a bowl and cover with a little hot water and brandy.
- In another bowl, knead the butter with the sugar (the butter should be removed from the refrigerator and softened at room temperature before beginning the cake) until the two have a creamy texture, then add the egg yolks one at a time. The egg whites should be separated and placed into a seperate bowl.
- Add the ricotta, grated lemon zest, raisins (removed from the water and dried), yogurt, and semolina.
- Whip the egg whites until they are firm with a movement from below then upwards, gently folding them into the dough.
- Grease a 9 in. springform pan, roll the pastry out and create a thin border along the wall of the pan. Pour in the ricotta mixture. Put in oven for about an hour.
Let the cake cool before serving and serve in small slices sprinkled with powdered sugar.