Monday, November 29, 2010

Thanksgiving 2010 dessert: Chocolate Ricotta Pie

This year I was lucky enough to have the dessert course for Thanksgiving dinner. I, of course, did the tradition pumpkin pie but I decided to also make a Chocolate Ricotta Pie by Giada Di Laurentis from Food Network. It was new for me and they say it's not the best time to try something new for the holidays. BUT, it was FANTASTIC! The filling literally tasted so smooth it melted in your mouth. Like the Chocolate pie you cna buy at Wegmans. What was different about it was that she called to put everything into a food processor not the stand mixer. It called for two whole eggs and two egg yolks which is I'm sure what gave it the thickness. We had some whipping cream and my sister is the best at making whip cream in our family so she made some. Sooo good! It has been a VERY challenging year financially for me (as I'm sure it has for everyone) so I haven't been doing as many expensive things to make.
I still envy the fact that Julie Powell had the determination and financial resources to cook her way through Julia's cookbook in one year. But as we saw in the movie, they didn't make a ton of money and sometimes she would spend half of her paycheck on ingredients. haha :) I can still watch that movie over and over and still be inspired. Even though I can quote it almost word for word now. LOL Very seldomly do we find movies that speak to us in those ways. If I could afford to go back to Culinary School (or even pastry school) I would. I can't fathom taking any more college loans out though before I have a steady full time job. College is always a huge risk and prayerfully once someone graduates with undergrad and even bachelors will they find a job in their field. Well, I'm getting of track from the cooking part of this blog so I'd better finish now. :) Here is the recipe for you to try! I wish I could find a blog site where I could put up pictures of the things I make next to the posts.
Oh, to conclude this blog, I used a regular pie plate which worked fine. She calls to use a tart pan which I'm hoping to try next time. :)

Chocolate Ricotta Pie
Courtesy of Giada Di Laurentis

Cook Time:1 hr 5 min

Level: Intermediate

Yield: 10 to 12 servings

CloseTimes:Prep20 min Inactive Prep30 min Cook1 hr 5 min Total:1 hr 55 min Recipe Tools:


For Crust:

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons cornmeal
Pinch salt
1/2 cup skinned, toasted hazelnuts
1 stick unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly


For Filling:
1/2 cup water
3/4 cup sugar
8 ounces semisweet chocolate chips (about 1 1/3 cups)
3/4 cup ricotta cheese
1/3 cup cream cheese, at room temperature
1 large egg
3 large egg yolks
1/4 cup toasted and chopped hazelnuts

For the crust:
In the bowl of a food processor combine the flour, 1/4 cup sugar, cornmeal, salt, and 1/2 cup toasted hazelnuts, and pulse to grind. Add the butter and pulse, just until the mixture forms a dough. Press the dough over the bottom and about 2 inches up the sides of an 11-inch diameter tart pan with a removable bottom. Refrigerate until the dough is firm, about 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Line the tart dough with aluminum foil and fill with pie weights or dried beans. Bake the tart shell in the lower third of the oven until just set, about 25 minutes. Carefully remove the foil and pie weights. Bake the shell again until golden, about 10 minutes longer. Remove from the oven and cool completely.

For the filling:
Add the chocolate to a double boiler, over very softly simmering water and heat until melted.
Combine the water with the sugar in a small saucepan over low heat. Stir to dissolve sugar. Remove from heat and cool.

Add the ricotta cheese and cream cheese in a food processor and pulse until smooth. Add the egg and egg yolks, 1 at a time, and process until smooth. Add the melted chocolate and the sugar syrup and pulse until combined. Pour the custard into the tart shell and bake until the custard is just set, about 30 minutes. Scatter the remaining 1/4 cup of chopped hazelnuts on top of the filling. Let the tart cool completely before serving.

The tart can be wrapped in plastic and refrigerated for up to 3 days. Return the tart to room temperature before serving.