March 10, 2018 — Cake

A Cake for Easter

  • 1 hour
  • 8 PEOPLE
  • easy

Inspired by the ricotta tarts made in Naples at Easter.

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What you need

100g pine nuts

100g Italian mixed peel

200ml milk

250g ricotta

4 large eggs separated

100g butter, softened

150g golden caster sugar

150g plain flour

1tsp baking powder

Zest and juice from one lemon

1tsp vanilla

Pinch of salt


Dad's Recipe Tales


How Dad Cooked It

The use of ricotta in a bakes is quite common in Italy. This recipe is based on the Easter tarts made in Naples. The unusual ingredient in these tarts is wheat grains which are first boiled in milk. I’ve used pine nuts instead, but treat them the same way in the recipe. It tenderises the nuts and removes much of the bitterness. A brilliant little trick. As the name suggests the Naples tarts are made in a pastry base. This helps consolidate the filling which is very moist. I’ve added more flour to my mix, so that it is more cake-like. The texture is somewhere between a cake, a pudding and a tart filling, but all the better for it. It’s success lies in the moistness and the wonderful flavours of pine nuts and citrus peel. It will keep for several days and can be eaten at room temperature or slightly warm – perhaps with a little cream. 

  1. Preheat oven to 180C, Gas4. Butter and flour a round 23cm cake tin.
  2. Simmer 80g of pine nuts in milk for 15 minutes. Strain off the milk and cool the nuts.
  3. Mix the flour, baking powder and salt. In a separate bowl, beat the butter and 125g of sugar until pale, then gradually add the egg yolks and beat, then add the ricotta, lemon zest and juice, vanilla and beat again. Mix in the peel, pine nuts and finally the flour.
  4. Beat the egg whites in a separate bowl until stiff and then add remaining sugar and beat again, fold into the cake mix, transfer to the tin. Scatter the remaining pine nuts on top and sprinkle over a little sugar.
  5. Bake for 40 minutes until lightly browned and a skewer comes out clean.
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