Lisa MushawA new generation doyenne on the rise who is staking her claim in the lofty arenas of international travel, tourism and the culinary arts, Lisa Mushaw is making transatlantic waves with TREASURES OF TUSCANY – AN EPICUREAN VOYAGE. TREASURES launched in November 2002 as a one-week vacation abroad with a twist – a cooking program where participants are given extensive exposure to Italian cuisine while discovering the physical beauty and traditions that are uniquely Tuscan. The idea was to offer “foodies” an opportunity to share and celebrate the cultural, personal and convivial rites that are the Tuscan Table, while basking in the charm of one of the world’s most exquisite and historic treasures. Lisa is a “natural taster” who cut her culinary teeth in the kitchen of relatives who excelled in the preparation of Creole cuisine. As a child, long before she knew the difference between battuto and affogato, she demonstrated a natural talent for discerning which ingredients were missing or used in excess in recipes. Her culinary gifts are no accident as her family roots include small business owners who made their living as caterers in New Orleans. A fervent student of food and wine, Lisa’s most recent accomplishment was completing a three year sommelier program. TREASURES OF TUSCANY – AN EPICUREAN VOYAGE is ideal for those with a passion for continental adventure who want to escape the drama of daily life and be transformed by a week in Florence – the center of the Renaissance, the Etruscan city of San Gimingnano or the medieval town of Lucca, creating memories that will last for years on end. Those who bask in attention to detail, pampering and personal service will want to join Lisa for the this extraordinary excursion to Toscana, the Italian province rich in beauty and character and the birthplace of much great Italian art, cuisine, and history.
Hi, I am Lisa Mushaw, owner of Treasure to Tuscany an Epicurean Voyage. Today we are preparing Torta di Ricotta, which is Ricotta Tart. Right now we are going to go ahead and make the filling.
To do that youre going to need 2 eggs, a third cup raisins, a third cup of pine nuts or almonds, tablespoon of vanilla, half a cup of sugar and two cups of ricotta cheese. What youre going to do is simply put all the ingredients in a bowl and blend. So, we are going to take your 2 cups of ricotta empting it into the bowl, followed by half a cup of sugar, then followed with the third cup of the pine nuts and again, this is something that you can go ahead and change up, this is one of the ingredients that if you dont want pine nuts, you dont have to use them. Sometimes I do use almonds and I like the taste of un-blanched almonds. Also in the fall or in the later winter I will use dried cranberries. I am going to go ahead and use raisins, a third of cup. Now what I did earlier is I soaked the raisins in hot water for about 20 minutes to flucken them up a bit. Then we are going to go ahead and add the 2 eggs, followed by a tablespoon of vanilla. Again, I love the taste of vanilla, so I always add just a little bit more than the recipe calls for. I also think really you cant taste the vanilla if you dont put enough in it. I dont want to kill, but I do want to be able to taste some essence of vanilla. So, once Ive got all my ingredients in there, I just go ahead and stir them up. You can use a blender if you want, I am a port girl, always have been in less than the ingredients that has to be blended, so and the ricotta is already very soft and as you can see, its very easy to just whip. You just blend it until its all mixed in together like so. Again, like I said earlier, the great thing about making a ricotta tart is its very easy to make and easy to assemble and its very economical. It has a nice taste. This pie also goes great when served with a nice Vin Santo Wine. You always want to make sure that when youre using a dessert wine that your wine is always sweeter than the actual dessert.
So again I am just mixing it in, really good, like so. Uh, you can smell the vanilla, you really can. Id youre used to how the way the technology is, youre going to be able to flick a switch and be able to smell it being cooked on television cooking shows. So now that its already blended, I am going to go ahead and just pour it into the pie shell. For this I should go ahead and use my spatula, where you just got to go ahead and scrap the sides and then youve gone ahead and poured the filling into the pie pan. Alright, perfect. I am just going to shake it up a bit, just making sure to spread this stuff out evenly. So we are just going to go ahead and place it in the oven baking it at 375 for about 35 to 40 minutes, until the crust has browned. So lets go ahead and put it in the oven. So I went ahead and took the pie out of the springform pan and put it on a serving platter, and what we are going to do is go ahead and decorate it with some fresh raspberries and when we serve it, we are going to serve it with some Vin Santo. Like I said earlier, Vin Santo is a wonderful dessert wine made in the region of Tuscany and it is a bit sweeter than the ricotta tart. You always want to have a dessert wine that is sweeter than the dessert. So, what I am going to do is just take a couple of raspberries and then just place them around the sides of the cake. Sorry, what I am going to do is take a couple of raspberries and just place them around the sides of the pie, just to add a little color, right.
Then Ill take a couple and then add on the top, maybe. Alright, there you have it, a ricotta tart.