Ingredients for a shallow 24 cm diameter cake tin300 g plain flour25 g brewer’s yeast200 ml water3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil600 g ricotta2 eggs + 1 yolk100 g icing sugar1 untreated orange, the peel1 pinch of salt1 pinch of cinnamon
Prepare the pastry base: sift the flour into a bowl, pour in the yeast dissolved in a glass of warm water and stir, then add the oil. Mix well with your hands until you have a smooth compact ball of dough; cover it with a cotton teacloth and leave to rise for about an hour.
In the meanwhile pass the ricotta through a sieve into a bowl, add the icing sugar, salt and cinnamon, then mix in the 2 eggs and grated orange peel; continue stirring in order to make the mixture smooth and even.
Now take the dough, which in the meantime has risen, put it on your work surface sprinkled with a handful of flour, knead it quickly and divide it in half. Roll out one of the halves with a rolling pin, shaping it into a disk (3-4 cm larger than the diameter of the cake tin). Line the tin with greaseproof paper and ease the disk of dough into it, make sure it also covers the sides. Pour in the ricotta cream, distribute it evenly over the bottom and level it. Cut off any dough that protrudes from the edge of the tin. Now roll out the other half to form a second disk of dough. Place it on top to cover the filling; pass the rolling pin over the tin to cut off any excess. Seal the Cassata all around the edge, by squeezing the two disks of dough together with your fingers. Use the tip of a knife to cut an X in the centre, lift the corners of the dough and fold them backwards and outwards. Brush the surface with beaten egg yolk and bake in a preheated oven, at 180 °C, for 30 minutes. Before removing the Cassata from the tin, make sure it has cooled down completely.
(1) During the Easter season, Franco, Viallino photographer and chef for over 20 years now, prepares a sweet speciality from his town of origin in Sicily: Sicilian Cassata.