Don’t leave…you’re in the right place! I’ve just gussied myself up with a new outfit. Finally. As some of you know; I’ve been in the web development business for twenty years and the very first site I created those many years ago was a site with recipes. As my business grew, my own hobby site always got the crumbs of my time; you know like the story of the cobbler and his kids needing shoes? When I decided to turn that site into an interactive blog I was still cobbling a bit as client work always came first and my own work got the leftover crumbs. Fast forward and I’ve sold the bulk of my clients to another firm and am focusing solely on my food and cocktail blog and it was just time. Time to put the effort into something that represented me better with a big girl logo and everything! I can not deny I simply love it.
There is nothing that needs explaining about site operation; I just wanted something simple and clean and with my favorite colors. I’ve got several posts that will need work to get the main photo displayed as the transition from one theme to another didn’t make that a given but with almost a thousand posts that’s going to be a long-term labor of love that may not even happen; I’m more excited about moving forward than looking back! I’m upgrading hosting too so it will be faster; that should happen today. Yes, I have a lot of ads that don’t help with speed issues but when you segue to doing this full-time those are what pay the bills so I can buy the cherries and make the yummy food!
The one thing I wanted my logo to convey was that it represented both a food and cocktail blog. How could it not be cherries? Not only do I love them above all fruits (their short season makes me yearn for them even more) but I love using them for both cocktails and cooking…perfect right? I still hear myself using the phrase, ‘Pretty please with a cherry on top?’ to convey how much I want something so the cherry is on the top. I’m telling you that using this little fruit in my branding has real meaning to me. I love love LOVE cherries!
To celebrate I decided today’s post had to be something cherry; and this Cherry Ricotta Pie (Pizza Dolce) with Port Cherry Sauce is probably my favorite cherry dessert EVER so I thought it worthy of pulling it from the archives and sharing it once again. A friend of mine, Domenica made a beautiful Blueberry Crostata Pie (pictured above) with enough dough for a top and bottom crust so I decided to try her recipe for the 12″ crust I needed. I loved it, it reminds me very much of a shortbread cookie; just a perfectly fabulous crust.
I used Domenica’s entire recipe for the dough to create a bottom crust. You can use a pizza stone or a baking sheet to bake it. The dough is rolled flat and then the outside edge is folded in and crimped; making sure it’s high enough to contain the filling ingredients, working as something like a dam. In lieu of Domenica’s blueberry jam and fresh blueberry filling, I then followed the rest of my own recipe which called for a ricotta filling and fresh sweet cherries. I finished the dessert with a Cherry Port sauce that I thought (hoped) would bring just a bit more juiciness to the end result. Isn’t hope an inherent part of baking? Actually it’s true of most everything I create that pulls together different techniques, different recipes, different ingredients…always hoping and praying a bit that the end result will match the deliciousness envisioned in my head. This one worked and was sublime and I can only hope you love it as much as I do. Here’s to more time in the kitchen and less at my computer; I know I’m celebrating!!
Cherry Pizza Crostata Dolce (Cherry Ricotta Pie) with Port Cherry Sauce
Fabulous and rustic cherry pie with ricotta cheese.
For the pasta frolla (pastry)
- 3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1 cup confectioners' sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
- Grated zest of 1 lemon
- 1 cup (1/2 pound) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- 1 large whole egg
- 2 large egg yolks
For the Filling (Makes enough for one 12-inch Pizza/Pie)
- 2 cups / 1 pound ricotta
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 3 eggs
- 1/2 tsp vanilla
- 1 Tbs Limoncello (I've also used Orange Liqueur or Amaretto)
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 pound fresh cherries, pitted
For the Port Cherry Sauce for Topping
- 1 cup cherries, pitted
- 1 cup water
- 1/2 port wine
- 1/2 sugar
To Make the Crostata shell:
- Put the flour, sugar, salt, and lemon zest in the work bowl of a food processor and pulse briefly to combine the ingredients. Scatter the butter around the bowl and pulse until the mixture is crumbly. Add the whole egg and egg yolks and process until the mixture is just beginning to clump together in the work bowl.
- Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and pat it together into a thick disk. Wrap tightly in plastic and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, or until well chilled.
- On a lightly floured surface, roll out the larger portion into an 12-13-inch circle about 1/8 inch thick or slightly thicker. Carefully wrap the dough around the rolling pin put it into a round pizza dish or on a baking sheet. Gently press the dough into the bottom and up the sides of the pan or if using a baking sheet, make an identifiable rim on the outside edge of the dough. Put the pan in the refrigerator to chill for 30 minutes.
For the Ricotta Filling:
- Heat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Using a hand mixer or whisk, beat the ricotta until smooth and creamy. Whisk in the eggs, the sugar, the vanilla, the liqueur and the ground cinnamon.
- Remove the dough from the fridge and carefully pour and spread the Ricotta Filling onto the dough not more than about an inch from the edges (leaving a border).
- Place the pitted cherries all over the Filling.
- Bake until the dough is puffed and golden brown and the Ricotta Filling is puffed and set in the center, about 30 to 45 minutes depending on the thickness of the dough and your oven. Keep an eye on it; mine was perfect at about 40 minutes when golden brown.
- Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly.
- Top with some of the Port/Cherry sauce and serve warm or at room temperature.
For the Port/Cherry Sauce:
- Combine all ingredients together and simmer until sauce is thickened and coats the back of a spoon; approximately 10-15 minutes.
- Cool until thickened.
- Refrigerate leftovers.