Almond and Grain Tart (Pastiera di Mandorle)
- 2 cups flour
- 1 large egg, beaten, plus 2 yolks, beaten
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted with 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil and cooled
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups fresh ricotta
- 1 1/2 cups sliced blanched almonds, ground to powder in food processor
- 1/2 cup cracked wheat, soaked in water overnight
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons orange flower water
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 6 eggs, separated
- 1/2 cup orange blossom honey
Mound the flour on a pastry board. Make a well in the flour and place the egg, yolks, sugar, butter and olive oil mixture, and the vanilla in the center. Proceed as you would with fresh pasta, bringing the flour in bit by bit from the sides. When the dough comes together, knead until smooth, then allow to rest 10 minutes. The dough will be very soft; chill if necessary.
Preheat the oven to350 degrees F.
Roll the dough out to a 12-inch circle with a thickness of 1/8-inch. Fit the pastry to the inside of a 10-inch tart pan and set aside. In a large bowl, combine the ricotta, almonds, cracked wheat, sugar, orange flower water and cinnamon and mix well to combine. Add the egg yolks and mix to incorporate completely. In a separate large bowl, whip the egg whites to soft peaks with a whisk or electric mixer. Carefully fold the egg whites into the ricotta mixture with a spatula. Pour the mixture into the pastry and bake for 45 to 50 minutes, until the crust is golden and the filling is solid. When cooled, slice and serve with the honey.
2000, Mario Batali. All Rights Reserved.