Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Pineapple and Ricotta Pie

       Usually when we come to Russia for vocation I indulge in the food that is not available in India – mainly, in all sorts of dairy products that are widely represented in Russian markets in all possible forms and are, unfortunately, not so readily available in India.

            Last year, the first day we returned to Kolkata from Moscow (right after having a few hours of sleep after an exhausting flight) I felt an irresistible urge to have a piece of a ricotta pie. It was strange because I actually had consumed tons of ricotta during the month spent in the native country and had a strong belief that I won’t be able even to look at this product for quite a while. Nevertheless, I was desperate to have that pie – I guess, it was a psychological issue: probably, I felt already homesick for Russia…. Anyway, I needed that pie! The problem was, the only type of cottage cheese you get in India – paneer – is much harder and chewy that the one you normally get in Russia – soft and creamy, much more like its Italian counterpart. The only way out was to make my own ricotta. In fact, I make it quite often myself: you just need to curdle the milk, put it in a slightly warm oven for a few hours and then strain the mixture through a muslin cloth. The process is a bit time-consuming but worth all the efforts. So, it turned out that right on my first day back in India I found myself making cottage cheese at home and – despite the fact that it’s best when eaten fresh – I put the whole batch of it into the filling of my pie. As I got it from the oven and dug into the first slice I instantly felt that life, after all, was not that bad! (Yes, it was just the right remedy for my homesickness!)


Shortcrust pastry
210 gm plain flour
150 gm shortening, softened
½ tsp baking soda
½ tbsp lemon juice

1 can of pineapple slices
1 tbsp cornflour
320 gm ricotta
2 eggs
100 gm castor sugar
1 tsp vanilla sugar

3 tbsp almonds, crushed


  1. For shortcrust pastry, mix shortening together with the flour, add baking soda and lemon juice and knead into dough. Put ¼ of it into the freezer and the rest of it in the fridge.
  2. For the filling, whisk eggs with sugar and vanilla sugar till pale and thick, add the ricotta and beat for a few more minutes.
  3. Preheat the oven to 140C. Line and grease 18cm square tin. Take the pastry out of the fridge and roll it into a square (big enough to cover the bottom and the sides of the tin). Transfer to a prepared tin and dust with the cornflour. Arrange 2/3 of the pineapple slices on the bottom and pour the ricotta mixture over them.
  4. Take the smaller piece of dough out of the freezer and grate it on top of the pie. Sprinkle with the almonds, cover loosely with foil and put in the oven for 10 minutes, then increase the temperature to 200C and bake for half an hour more. Remove the foil and bake till the top is golden brown in colour, around 20 – 25 minutes more.
  5. Serve with the reserved pineapple slices and whipped cream.

1 comment:

  1. Oh My! What a treat you have... I'm loving the flavors!!


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