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Happy 4th! Picnic(s), Expressionism and a Crostata alla Crema di Ricotta

Posted in Caro Diario.(dear diary..), Cook With Maria, Cook With Maria Contest, Country House Living, cucina, cucina povere, Culinary Art, desserts, entertaining, Events & Appearances, Features, La Dolce Vita, recipes, slow food, the Mediterranean diet, Travel & customs, Uncategorized, and Upcoming Appearances



Text and some photos copyright 2013 Art of Living,PrimaMedia,Inc

Happy 4th of July…it is officially  Picnic time. ..a time that  always bring to mind the classic film and Broadway production of the same name..all those emotions flowing.. amongst a good old fashioned summer get together..a piece of Expressionism brought to the Broadway stage and  film..

Maybe you can find a bit of inspiration in this saying coined by Czech  art historian Anotonio Matejcek … “An Expressionist wishes above all to express himself”

Sometimes…  get togethers are all about a ‘ side’ of expressing yourself with a heaping of food…

enjoy this favorite picnic dessert …

Torta Alla Crema Di Ricotta

Ingedients –serves 6

Crust-Pasta brisee (short pastry)

1 and  2/3  cups flour

4 ounces butter

2/3 cup  very cold ice  water

Place flour and butter ( cut in pieces, straight from refrigerator) into food processor, blend till butter is well blended into flour and a sandy mixture is produced. place mixture on a cold or cool wooden or marble board.  You want to knead this dough quickly adding a little bit of water each time while kneading until a compact piece of dough is formed. place in a ball and wrap with wax paper or plastic wrap, refrigerate for 40 minutes. (It is really important to keep butter cold, and also run your wooden or marble board under extremely cold water so butter doesn’t melt when kneading dough0

When ready, cover an 8 inch pie pan with parchment paper that has been run under water,(be sure to gently squeeze out water so parchment paper is humid not soggy).  cover bottom and sides. Cover parchment paper with your short pastry


8 ounces ricotta cheese

3/4 cup sugar

1 tablespoon sugar for top of crust

3 eggs

1 tablespoon orange flower water

In large bowl place eggs one at a time ,then add in sugar and orange flower water, blend by hand with   wire whisk. Add in ricotta and mix all with wooden spoon till well blended. Pour onto crust. bake in oven preheated to 350 degrees F or 170 degrees C. Bake for 45 minutes. When baked, sprinkle top of pie with 1 tablespoon sugar and put under broiler for a few seconds till sugar begins to caramelize. Remove quickly, let cool and serve.Don’t forget to pair with a wine, a slightly sweet Prosecco may do!



**July 19-21-Cooking on culinary stage at Festa Italiana..Milwaukee Wisconsin..this has to be one of the biggest Italian ‘parties’ in the USA..looking forward to seeing all my festa friends please stop by and say hi! at my book signings after on stage appearance

**Sept 28- 29      Festa Italiana,Seattle, Wisconsin..another one of the biggest Italian ‘parties in the USA..looking forward to this ,my first time there as their Celebrity Chef..looking forward to meeting everyone for my first time in Seattle.   .


Get more recipes in the Gourmand World Award Winning Book The Basic Art of Italian Cooking: Holidays and Special Occasions-2nd edition..get it at or exclusively at Kindle

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Designed by Brian Hanshaw

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