Pastry dough (makes top & bottom crust)
2 cups all-purpose flour
6 tablespoons granulated sugar
½ teaspoon baking powder
Pinch of salt
1 teaspoon orange zest (finely zested)
1 whole egg
4 egg yolks (save whites for filling)
1 stick cold butter cut into pats
2 pounds whole milk ricotta cheese
1 ½ cups confectioner’s sugar
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons orange zest (finely zested)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ teaspoon almond extract
6 egg whites (4 of the yolks were used in the crust and the remaining 2 yolks can be used to brush onto the top crust before baking)
1 ½ cups mini semi-sweet chocolate chips, divided
In a medium to large bowl, mix flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and zest.
In a small bowl* beat whole egg and yolks then stir into the flour fixture with a firm spatula or wooden spoon. Use a pastry cutter and cut the cold butter into the dough until the butter is rice sized. *Alternatively, you can use a food processor with the pulse feature to mix the crust ingredients.
Measure out 5-ounces of dough, form into a disc and wrap tightly in plastic wrap. Do the same for the remaining dough and refrigerate both pieces for one hour.
Pour the ricotta onto cheese cloth and twist the top tight and tie with butcher’s twine. Hang over a bowl to catch the liquid. (We used two metal skewers to pierce the top of the cheese cloth and hold the draining cheese over the bowl.) Refrigerate for one hour to drain off ¼ cup of liquid, no more than ¼ cup.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Once the dough has rested under refrigeration, use a lot of flour and roll the larger piece to the size of the bottom of your 10-inch pie plate and then transfer to the pie plate. (We found it easier to work by using my hands to form the dough before rolling out. The heat of your hands will soften it just enough to make it softer to use).
Press and form the dough up the sides and over the rim. (If you are an experienced pie baker, you could roll to about a 13-inch circle, fold in half and place in the pie plate and unfold, but again, this pastry dough is a little fussy to work with and breaks apart easily.) Refrigerate until ready.
Place the drained ricotta, confectioner’s sugar, all-purpose flour, orange zest and both extracts in a large bowl and whisk to combine.
In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites to soft peaks and fold into the filling.
Fold in half of the mini chocolate chips.
Spread this filling into the prepared pie dish and sprinkle on the second half of the mini chocolate chips.
Use a pastry brush and lightly brush around the crust edge with water so that the top dough will stick to the bottom dough.
Roll out the second piece of dough slightly larger than the top of your pie dish (we rolled ours to 12-inches)
Fold the circle in half then unfold over the filling, pressing lightly around the edge to stick.
Use a knife and run it along the outer edge to cut off excess dough.
Fold the outer edge up and over itself towards the center then use a fork to crimp. Don’t try to make a fluted edge as this type of dough will not hold its shape when baked.
Take the remaining egg yolks and brush along the top of the dough, coming up to but not over the crust edge.
Cut several slits across the top as air vents and bake for 55 minutes. Since there is a layer of chocolate across the top of the filling under the top crust, it is difficult to use the tooth pick test to test for doneness. We jiggled ours a bit and once everything seemed firm, we removed it. Baking 55 minutes was perfect in our oven.
Let sit on a cooling rack then refrigerate for a few hours to set.
To serve, dust the top with powdered sugar and cut into eight servings.
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