The joys of Easter
Rustic beauty and rich flavor of Italian desserts celebrate the holiday
Ricotta pie (Torta di ricotta): Sweet pies filled with fresh ricotta and even grains are also popular Italian Easter dessert choices. Candied citrus is often added to bring out the flavor of the cheese (E. Jason Wambsgans/Chicago Tribune)
4. Scrape mixture into a wide, shallow bowl with plenty of space. Thoroughly wash and dry the mixing bowl and the whisk. Place the egg whites in the bowl. Beat the whites by themselves with an electric mixer on high speed until frothy; add the remaining 1/3 cup sugar little by little while continuing to whisk. Whip together just until stiff and glossy. With a spatula, scrape the meringue into the bowl of creamed items. Fold them together until incorporated, using a motion that is gentle but quick.
5.Scrape the filling into the dough-lined pan; bake without opening the oven door, 45 minutes-1 hour. A deep golden color over the top of the torte is the best way to tell when it's finished. Once fully cooked, don't move the pan. Rather, turn the oven off and open the door. Remove when cool. Serve plain or dusted with powdered sugar. Store covered at room temperature for a few days or refrigerate if intending to keep longer. Enjoy at room temperature.
Nutrition information: Per serving (for 12 servings): 440 calories, 27 g fat, 16 g saturated fat, 209 mg cholesterol, 40 g carbohydrates, 10 g protein, 498 mg sodium, 1 g fiber.
Easter dove bread
Prep: 40 minutes
Rise: 1 hour, 20 minutes
Cook: 50 minutes
Servings: 30, 1 loaf
Note: Adapted from a recipe by Mary Ann Esposito. The dove shape of this bread is a very rough form. Pans and paper molds can be purchased at some Italian specialty stores, but the bird can be formed by hand as well.
1/4 cup warm water (110 to 115 degrees)
1 tablespoon active dry yeast
1/2 cup warm milk
2/3 cup sugar
1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted
1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
1 tablespoon vanilla
3 large eggs, at room temperature
3 large egg yolks, at room temperature