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 Signora DeSimone

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This is Sal calling his mom for the recipe.

This is a special recipe! Sal DeSimone, from Tony's Colonial on Federal Hill, called his mom in Italy and for this recipe! This Easter dessert originated in his hometown of Cervinara, Avellino. Enjoy!!
  • 1 recipe Pasta Frolla (see recipe below)
  • 1-pound ricotta cheese, well drained
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 lemon zest and juice
  • 1 orange zest and juice from half
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/8-teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Roll out the pastry crust (pasta frolla) and fit into a 9-inch cake pan and freeze it while preparing the filling.

Preheat the oven to 375F.

In a large bowl, mix the cheese and sugar. Add the zest and juice, then the eggs one at a time, incorporating well after each addition; whisk in the salt and vanilla.

Pour the filling into the frozen crust and spread it evenly. Roll out the other half of the dough and cut lattice strips for the top of the tart. Arrange the strips in a woven design and brush the strips with egg wash (1 egg whisked with 1 tablespoon of water) and sprinkle with sugar.

Bake for 15 minutes on the lower rack of the oven and 30 minutes on the middle rack.  The pie filling should not jiggle.  Keep in mind that some ovens bake faster than others.

Pasta Frolla
Nick Malgieri

  • 3 cups flour
  • 1/2-cup sugar
  • 1/2-teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 12 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3-4 large eggs, beaten (start with three eggs, if the dough is too dry add another)

Combine dry ingredients in bowl of a stand mixer and blend on low; add the butter and blend until it resembles sand.  Add eggs and continue to blend on low until the dough starts to forms a ball. Remove dough, press into a disk, wrap and chill.

This is a short crust; so it may not stay together when you roll it out. If the dough has cracks, while rolling, press them back together.

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