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Budino di ricotta (Baked ricotta pudding)

Serves 4

Butter (for the dish)
Sugar (for sprinkling)
8 ounces whole-milk ricotta cheese
2 eggs, separated
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon flour
Grated rind of 1 lemon
Grated rind of 1 orange
1 tablespoon lemon or orange juice

1. Set the oven at 350 degrees. Butter a 1-quart glass or ceramic baking dish. Dust it with sugar; set aside.

2. In a bowl, combine the ricotta and egg yolks. Mix well until smooth. Stir in all but 2 tablespoons of the sugar and the flour. Mix until the ricotta is free of almost all lumps. Stir in the lemon and orange rinds, and the juice.

3. In an electric mixer or with a wire whisk, beat the egg whites until they form soft peaks. Gradually beat in the remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar. Continue beating the whites until they form stiff peaks.

4. Gently fold the whites into the ricotta mixture. Pour the batter into the baking dish.

5. Bake the pudding on the middle shelf of the oven for 30 to 40 minutes or until the middle is firm when the baking dish is lightly shaken. Cool slightly before serving or cover, refrigerate, and serve chilled. Judith Barrett

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 COOKING LESSONS FROM ROME: Ricotta pudding is sweet yet subtle