Adapted from Elizabeth David’s Budino di ricotta in Italian food and Roberto and Rosa D’Ancona’s Budino di ricotta in the superlative La Cucina Romana.
500 g ricotta
150 g fine sugar
3 heaped tablespoons ground almonds or plain flour
grated zest of two unwaxed lemons
3 – 5 tbsp rum
a pinch of salt
a little melted butter and fine breadcrumbs for the tin
Set the oven to 180°.
Brush a 25cm / 10 inch cake tin with melted butter and then dust it with fine breadcrumbs.
Separate the eggs putting the whites in one large bowl and the yolks in another.
Sieve or mash the ricotta and beat it together with the eggs yolks.
Add the sugar, almonds/ flour, lemon zest, rum and salt and beat again.
Whisk the eggs white vigorously until they are mounted and form soft peaks.
Using a metal spoon gently fold the eggs whites into the ricotta mixture.
Pour the thick batter into the buttered and crumbed tin.
Bake for 40 minutes or until the cake is firm, puffy and slightly golden on top.
Serve just warm, at room temperature or cold. You can dust it with icing sugar if you like.
"Now literally translated budino means pudding, so we could translate budino di ricotta as pudding of ricotta or, better still - ricotta pudding.
We could just as easily call it a ricotta cake, a baked cheese cake or a baked ricotta pudding.
The procedure is nice and straightforward.
You sieve the ricotta and then beat it first with the egg yolks and then with the ground almonds or flour, sugar, lemon zest, salt and rum.
Keep beating until you have a smooth, consistent cream that begs – for the raw egg fearless among us – to be tasted repeatedly.
To finish you fold in the egg whites you’ve whisked so vigorously they’ve formed – giggle – stiff peaks and then scrape this thick batter into tin brushed with melted butter and dusted with fine breadcrumbs.
The cake that is, until it’s firm, puffed with price and just a little golden on top.
Now if you are a fan of delicate puds and pretty cakes, this probably isn’t for you.
If however you think you might like a dense (but not heavy), lemon scented, rum laced pudding that is all at once a rather sophisticated fat pancake, a fruitless bread and butter pudding, a baked custard and the inside of a Jewish baked cheesecake I suggest you try this recipe.
I adore it."
For every 1 tablespoon of cornstarch, you'll need to use about 3 tablespoons of flour. Also, cook whatever you're thickening a few minutes longer to get rid of the raw flavor of the flour.