This recipe is from Dolce Vita, where David Rocco actually calls it Carla’s Torta Di Ricotta. It's a traditional Italian cheesecake-like pie. Note: Prep time does not include 4 hour resting time.
- Refrigerate ricotta cheese in a strainer over night so that excess moisture is removed. In a mixing bowl, blend ricotta cheese and 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar with a hand mixer until it becomes a velvety consistency. In a separate bowl, whip 35% whipping cream with 1/2 tablespoon of sugar. Gently fold whipped cream into ricotta mixture along with bittersweet chocolate. Spread filling into piecrust.
- In a saucepan, heat sugar and 2 cups of water. Once the sugar has dissolved, add pears and let cook until soft and caramelized. Remove pears from pan and let cool. Cut pears into slices and fan the slices on top of the pie filling until the surface of the pie is covered. Fill in gaps with extra pieces of pear if necessary.
- In another saucepan, heat remaining water and apricot jelly. Stir and cook until jelly is liquefied so that it can be used as a glaze. Spread apricot glaze over pears and let pie rest in fridge for 4 hours before serving.
Absolutely fabulous! Brought back memories of a wonderful meal years ago in Milan. The one concession to health--I used homemade low fat ricotta and shaved off a little fat (but used a delicious butter pastry shell LOL). this was loved by all!