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La Torta Antica Ericina

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/4 cup confectioners sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
9 tablespoons sweet butter, chilled, cut into 1/2-inch pieces, plus additional as needed
4 tablespoons moscato or other sweet wine, chilled
1 plump vanilla bean
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
2/3 cup mascarpone
1 1/2 pounds whole-milk ricotta (best if purchased in bulk from an Italian grocery or a specialty cheese store)
1 cup confectioners sugar, plus additional as needed
2 egg whites, beaten to a froth


Pulse the flour, salt, confectioners sugar, and cinnamon two or three times in the work bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Add the 9 tablespoons very well chilled butter and pulse until it resembles coarse crumbs. With the machine running, pour the cold wine in through the feed tube all at once and process for 4 to 5 seconds, only until the contents just begin to form a dough. Turn the mixture out onto a large sheet of plastic wrap, gathering up the errant bits and gently pressing it all into a dough. Enclose the dough in the plastic, cover the plastic with a clean kitchen towel and leave it to rest in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. Roll out the rested dough between two sheets of plastic wrap to 1/4 inch. Remove one sheet of wrap and invert the pastry into a buttered 10-inch loose-bottomed tart pan, fitting and trimming the pastry. Cover the pastry with plastic wrap and place it in the freezer for 20 minutes or the refrigerator for 1 hour. Split the vanilla bean with a small, sharp knife and scrape out the seeds into a large saucepan. Add the vanilla pod and the cream and, over a medium flame, bring the components to a simmer, permitting the cream to reduce and thicken to 1 cup. Add the mascarpone and heat until the mascarpone is melted and blended with the reduced cream. Cover the pot and permit the vanilla seeds and pod to infuse the cream. Meanwhile, in the work bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade, process the ricotta with 1 cup confectioners sugar until the cheese is smooth and thick. Add the egg whites and process another 20 seconds to incorporate them well. Turn the ricotta mixture out into a medium bowl. When the cream/vanilla mixture has cooled, remove the vanilla pod and blend the perfumed cream very well into the ricotta. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Remove the plastic wrap from the tart shell and bake the shell for 5 minutes, lowering the heat to 400 degrees and baking it for 8 minutes more or until it has begun to firm and is lightly golden. Remove the partially baked pastry from the oven to cool for 10 minutes. Lower the oven temperature to 350 degrees. Spread the ricotta mixture over the tart, smoothing it a bit, and bake the tart for 20 minutes or until the ricotta is firm and a very pale golden crust has begun to form on its surface. Do not overbake the tart. Remove it from the oven, setting it on a rack to cool for 5 minutes before removing the pans sides and permitting the tart to cool thoroughly. Dust the tart with confectioners sugar.

Source: www.epicurious.com