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Easter Sweets

2 cups whole-milk ricotta

4 large eggs, at room temperature

1 cup granulated sugar

1/2 teaspoon almond extract

Garnish: Confectioner’s sugar

  1. To make the pastry , sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Cut in the butter with a pastry cutter until the mixture looks like cornmeal. Sprinkle with Cognac and work the dough with your hands until smooth. Roll into a ball, then press into a disk, wrap in plastic wrap, and put away to chill for at least 30 minutes and up to overnight. Meanwhile, butter a 10-inch deep-dish pie plate and preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Next make the filling: In a medium bowl, stir together the chopped nuts, citron, and flour, then add the ricotta. In a large bowl, using a standing or hand-held mixer, beat the eggs until pale and fluffy. Add the sugar in a slow stream and beat until thick and pale, then stir in almond extract.
  3. Spoon about one-third of the egg mixture into the cheese mixture and gently fold in until evenly mixed. Add remaining eggs and fold in as well. Set aside.
  4. Unwrap pastry dough on a well-floured surface, then cut away one-third of the dough and set aside. Roll the remaining two-thirds of the dough out into a 12-inch circle and gently transfer to the prepared pie dish. Cut away any excess dough from the edges and crimp using a fork. Pour the cheese filling into the crust. Take the remaining one-third of the dough and roll that out into a 10-inch circle. Cut the pastry into 3/4-inch strips and lay them over the cheese in a lattice pattern. Bake until the crust is browned and filling is set, 40 to 45 minutes. Let cool completely at room temperature, then sprinkle with powdered sugar.
Updated Tuesday, April 19th, 2011

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