Italian easter cake

Nonna didn’t make an easter cake this year. I don’t think she felt up for it. I realised that I missed it and made one yesterday arvo. I can’t for the life of me find nonna’s recipe and the ones in my cook books all looked wrong, so I used a mysterious recipe that looked nearly right, which I found saved on my hard drive labelled “Grandmother cake”. I can’t tell you where it came from, but it’s certainly not my nonna’s recipe. If anyone recognises it, I’m all ears:



1/2 kilogram ricotta cheese

3 eggs

1 tbs grated orange peel

1/2 cup sugar

1 1/2 tsp flour

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1/8 tsp ground nutmeg

1/4 cup candied citron*


3 cups flour

1 Tbs baking powder

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

1 Tbs grated lemon zest

3 eggs

3/4 cup sugar

1/4 cup butter, soft

1/4 cup vegetable oil

1/4 cup water

1 egg, extra



In a large mixing bowl combine the ingredients.

Chill well.


On your working surface make a well of the flour.

Alternating, add the dry and wet ingredients to the well (except the final egg).

After each ingredient is added mix well with fingers or a fork.

Add flour if needed to make a workable dough.

Knead the dough until it is smooth and easily rolled.

Divide the dough into two sections.

Roll the bottom crust a little thicker than a regular pie crust (about 1/4″, 60 mm).

Line a 9″ (30 cm) pie pan or spring form pan with the crust.

Pour the filling into the crust.

With the second section of dough, either make a lattice top or a full top crust. If you opt for the full crust, prick the top with a fork seven times.

I did a lattice, because that's what nonna always does

Bake at 180 degrees 15 minutes.

Beat the egg lightly with a little water.

Brush the top of the crust with the egg wash.

Bake 15 more minutes, or until set.***

Dust with icing sugar to finish. Serve to your workmates, who gobble it all up, astonished at how tasty it is.

* This is sometimes called cedro. Either way, I didn’t have enough in the fridge and I couldn’t find any to buy, so I used about a third citron, a bit of proper candied orange peel (not that mixed peel crap from the supermarket that tastes like nothing) and some glace cherries.

** I should probably let you know that I didn’t do this bit “properly”, because I hate making pastry this way. Instead, I stuck everything in the food processor and hoped for the best. And it turned out fine after a bit of chilling and some kneading.

*** I gave it another 1o minutes, because it didn’t look seem cooked all the way through yet.


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