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
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
3/4 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.
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.
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.