easter tart: torta di pasqua
This tart can be prepared up to two days in advance—some say the flavors improve.
- Pastry Dough:
- 3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 2/3 cup water
- 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 5 cups (2 1/2 pounds) fresh ricotta
- 14 large eggs
- 3/4 pound good quality cooked ham or mortadella, diced
- 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons minced fresh marjoram
- 2 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
- Pinch of cumin seeds
For the pastry: In a bowl, quickly mix together the flour, water, oil and salt. Transfer the mixture to a work surface. Briefly work the dough with your fingertips until it forms a ball. Divide into two balls, one slightly larger than the other (one third to two thirds); shape balls into flattened disks, wrap separately in plastic, and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Remove the dough from the refrigerator. On a lightly floured work surface, roll the larger piece to a 14 ½-inch round, ⅛-inch thick. Transfer to an 11-inch springform pan, pressing into edges and leaving a ¼-inch overhang.
For the filling: Preheat the oven to 350°. In a bowl, combine the ricotta, 7 of the eggs, ham, marjoram, salt, and pepper; spoon into the prepared crust. With the back of a tablespoon, create 6 deep egg-shaped indentations in the filling. One at a time, crack an egg into each indentation.
Roll the remaining dough into a 11-inch round. Cover the top of the tart with dough; pinch together the edges and trim any excess dough. Whisk together the remaining egg with 1 tablespoon water. Brush the top of the tart with the egg wash and sprinkle with a pinch of salt and cumin seeds. Bake tart, rotating halfway through, until top is puffed up and golden, 55 to 60 minutes. Cool in pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes, then remove from the pan and cool on rack to room temperature.