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Agrigento, Sicily, Italy

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Angela's Italian and Sicilian Recipes
Pine Nut Tart
Pine Nut Tart
(Torta di Pinoli)

For the Pastry:
5 oz (150 grams) unsalted butter, softened
5 oz (150 grams) superfine sugar
4 egg yolks
12 oz (350 grams) plain white or Italian type 00 flour
Finely grated zest of 1 unwaxed lemon
Pinch of salt

For the Filling:
12 oz (350 grams) ricotta cheese
Few drops of vanilla extract
2 fluid oz (50 ml) heavy cream
3 egg yolks
4 oz (100 grams) superfine sugar
4 oz (100 grams) pine kernels
Icing sugar, for dusting

To make the pastry, put the softened butter, sugar and egg yolks in a food processor and mix together.
Add the flour, lemon zest and salt and mix again.
Wrap in greaseproof paper and chill in the fridge for 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 325 F (170 C).

To make the filling, using a wooden spoon, beat the ricotta cheese in a bowl.
Add the vanilla extract, heavy cream, egg yolks, sugar and 3/4 of the pine kernels and mix together.

On a lightly floured surface, roll out the pastry and use 2/3 to line a 8 inch (20 cm) loose-bottomed flan tin. Chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.

Prick the base with a fork and line with a piece of greaseproof paper and baking beans, then bake in the oven for 20 minutes until golden.

Remove the lining and beans.

Pour the filling into the pastry case.
Roll out the remaining pastry and cut into 1/2 inch (1 cm) strips, the same length as the tart.
Use to make a lattice decoration on the tart by laying half the strips at intervals across the surface and the other half across the first layer.
Scatter the remaining pine kernels over the top.

Bake in the oven for 35 minutes until the pastry is crisp and golden and the filling is firm to the touch.

Leave to cool slightly, then serve warm, dusted with sifted icing sugar.
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