It is a firm pudding, halfway between a cake and a pudding. A crust forms as the budino cooks, but there’s no pie dough here. Like most puddings it will sink a little as it sits. The main ingredient is ricotta cheese, really common for Calabria’s desserts. Budino di ricotta, a baked pudding that’s souffle-light and deliciously creamy. Prepared with a combination of ricotta, sugar, egg yolks, a small amount of flour, and both orange and lemon rinds, the pudding has stiffly beaten whites folded in, so it rises and turns golden in the oven. It can be made ahead of time, served at room temperature, or even chilled until the next day.
- 1 pound (2 cups) ricotta cheese, at room temperature
- 3/4 to 1 cup sugar
- 4 large eggs, separated
- 2 tablespoons brandy, rum, or marsala
- 1 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour, potato starch, or cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon or vanilla extract
- 2 teaspoons grated orange or lemon zest or 1 teaspoon each
- Pinch of salt
- 1/4 cup gold raisins or chopped candied citron (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Grease a deep 1 1/2 to 2-quart casserole or eight 1 cup ramekins or custard cups.
- In a food processor or blender, process the ricotta, sugar, egg yolks, brandy, flour, cinnamon, zest, and salt until smooth. If desired, stir in the raisins.
- Beat the egg whites on low until foamy, about 30 seconds. Increase the speed to medium-high and beat until stiff but not dry. Fold into the cheese mixture.
- Spoon into the prepared pan. Bake until a wooden tester inserted in the center comes out nearly clean, about 45 minutes for the 2-quart dish or about 30 minutes for the ramekins. Place on a rackand let cool in the pan for at least 15 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.