(Note: *Macerate the candied fruit and Limoncello for several hours, preferably overnight. If you wish, golden raisins or dried apricots can be substituted for the candied fruit.)
Pasta Frolla- (adapted from Italy, The Beautiful Cookbook and Macrina)
4⅔ cups all-purpose flour
⅔ cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ground anise seed
1 tablespoon lemon zest
1 tablespoon orange zest
10 oz. cold, unsalted butter cut into ¼” pieces
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
In the bowl of a food processor fitted with the blade attachment, place the flour, sugar, salt, and anise seed. Pulse a few times to aerate then add the lemon and orange zests; pulse a few times to incorporate. Add the cold butter pieces, pulsing just until the mixture resembles fine cornmeal. In a small bowl, whisk together the whole eggs, egg yolks and vanilla. Transfer the flour/butter mixture from the food processor to a large bowl. Using a fork, gradually add the egg mixture to the dry ingredients, tossing with the fork until combined. The dough will be crumbly. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured sheet of parchment paper. Knead the dough a few times, shape it into a disc and wrap it in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour before rolling out.
Lightly butter an 8” x 3” springform pan with removable bottom. Retrieve the dough from the refrigerator. Save ⅓ of the dough for the top of the crostata. Wrap that in plastic wrap. Roll out the larger portion of dough on a lightly floured sheet of parchment paper into a circle about 11” in diameter and ⅛” thick. Carefully place the dough into the springform pan; I find it easiest to fold the circle of dough in half and in half again, then place that in the center of the pan and unfold it. Use your fingers to gently smooth the dough against the bottom and up the sides of the pan. Turn the edges under slightly to form a rim. Cover the pan with plastic wrap and refrigerate. Roll out the remaining portion of dough on a lightly floured sheet of parchment into a 10” circle. Transfer the dough and the parchment to a baking sheet. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate while you prepare the filling.
Crostata filling- (adapted from Macrina)
½ cup candied fruit peel, finely diced
3 tablespoons Limoncello
¼ cup toasted hazelnuts, finely chopped
½ cup miniature chocolate chips
2½ pounds whole milk ricotta, placed in a cheesecloth-lined fine mesh strainer, set over a bowl
¾ cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
½ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon good quality anise extract
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 teaspoon orange zest
4 egg yolks
egg wash made from 1 egg yolk and 1 tablespoon heavy cream or whole milk
*Place the candied fruit peel and Limoncello in a small jar. Stir to combine, cover with a lid and let macerate for several hours, preferably overnight.)
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
In a large bowl, combine drained ricotta, sugar, cornstarch, salt, vanilla, anise, and zests.
Add the egg yolks, 1 at a time, folding in with a rubber spatula; fold in the candied fruit peel, the hazelnuts and chocolate chips. Retrieve the springform pan with the bottom crust and the baking sheet with the top crust from the refrigerator. Scrape the filling into the pan, smoothing the top with an offset spatula. Brush the edge of the bottom crust with cold water. Carefully place the top crust over the filling, turn the edges under the bottom crust and pinch decoratively to seal. Brush the top of the crostata (not the edges) with egg wash. Cut a small vent in the center of the crostata which will allow steam to escape. Place the crostata on a parchment lined baking sheet. Refrigerate for 30 minutes before baking.
Bake in the preheated oven on the middle rack for 2 hours. The crostata should test clean when a small paring knife is inserted in the center. Cool completely on a baking rack, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 6 hours before serving. Carefully remove outer ring from pan and transfer crostata to a serving platter. Refrigerate any leftovers.