Amelia’s Torta Squisita

We’re big fans of this exquisite tart here at Sophie’s Cookery School. It’s an unusual dessert which includes all the great flavours of cannoli – citrus, chocolate, ricotta – brought together in a simple tart. It’s the crowning glory of the table at our Tuscan Farmhouse Kitchen class, and we’re sure you’ll enjoy it as much as we do.

for the pastry 

225g plain flour
75 g caster sugar
115g butter at room temperature
3 egg yolks
zest of a lemon

for the filling

500g ricotta
100g candied peel
150g good dark chocolate, cut into rough chunks
100g sugar
1 large egg
  1. Put the flour on a board and make a well in the centre. Put the remaining pastry ingredients in the centre and smush to make a paste. Incorporate the flour and work into a dough. At this point you can wrap it in clingfilm and chill for half an hour, but it is a forgiving dough and you don’t have to. Either way, you should divide it into ¾ and ¼ and shape each amount into a flattened disk.
  2. Mix all of the filling ingredients together except the egg. If your ricotta has a puddle at the bottom of the pot, be sure to leave it behind. Don’t over stir the ricotta or it will become quite liquid. You may want to make the filling less sweet, depending on how sweet a tooth you have and how bitter your chocolate is. Best to have a thorough taste before adding the egg…
  3. Roll out ¾ of the pastry and line a cake or tart tin. If you’re using a cake tin allow the pastry to come roughly up the sides – rustic is the motto here. Fill with the ricotta mix. Again, if using a cake tin flop the edges of the pastry over the top. If a tart tin, trim neatly. Use the remaining pastry to make a lattice over the top and bake at 180 for about 45 minutes until the pastry is golden and the filling set. To avoid the dreaded soggy bottom, you may want to slide the cake onto a hot baking tray in the oven.
  4. Allow to cool and serve at room temperature. It goes especially well with a glass of vin santo.