The “Cassata al forno” (Oven baked Cassata) siciliana is a sweet pastry and ricotta cream a sort of closed pie that has nothing to envy to the most famous traditional cassata.

According to legend the Cassata would have Arabic origins, and its name would derive from the “Quas’at” that is the casserole where the tuma cheese was worked, the fresh cheese that originally would have been combined with cane sugar and baked, covered with a dough of bread. Later the most famous cassata would have been born, the colorful one now symbolic with the cannoli, of the Sicilian confectionery.

This version is simpler to make and super tasty!

 

Directions

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  1. The day before, add the ricotta with the sugar, simply stirring with a fork and keep it in the fridge in an airtight container.
  2. Meanwhile add flour, sugar, lemon peel (and yeast if you use it) in a bowl. Add the softened butter and a pinch of salt. Make the fountain and shell the eggs. Start to beat the eggs with a fork and then continue to knead quickly with your hands. Take a ball, wrap it in the film and put it in the fridge for about an hour.
  3. Grease and the pan and flour only the side edges, while at the bottom put a disc of parchment paper cut to size (it is important to flip the cassata perfectly!)
  4. Flatten two thirds of pastry to cover the cake tin, between two sheets of baking paper because it does not stick. 
  5. Cover the baking tin also going up to the edges. Place a layer of sponge cake or half of the crumbled biscuits on the bottom (they will absorb any further ricotta moisture!)
  6. Add the chocolate drops to the ricotta and pour it on the base. Level it well with the help of a dampened spoon. Place the other half of the sponge cake or crumbled biscuits. At this point, helping with the tip of a knife, lower the edges of the pastry to the level of the filling and brush this edge with plenty of beaten egg white. Roll out the remaining pastry and cover everything smoothing well and cutting the excess by adhering well to the edge!
  7. Make some small holes on the surface with the tip of a knife (small chops) and bake at 180°C degrees for about an hour, checking that the oven cassata takes on a beautiful golden color.
  8. Remove from the oven and after 10/15 minutes, turn the oven tray on a tray and let it cool down in the mold so that it does not lose its shape (trick!)
  9. The next day sprinkle the cassata in the oven with powdered sugar.