1 hour 15 mins
For the pastry
- 300g plain flour, plus extra for rolling and dusting
- 160g salted butter, cubed
- 200g ricotta, drained
- A large pinch of flaky sea salt
For the filling
- 4 large artichokes, trimmed, or 350-400g cooked artichoke hearts, stored in water (drained weight)
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 1 large shallot, finely diced
- 175ml dry white wine
- 10g marjoram, leaves picked and finely chopped
- 300g ricotta, drained
- 60g parmesan, finely grated
- ⅓ tsp freshly grated nutmeg
- ½ tsp ground black peppercorns
- 6 medium eggs
Rub together or pulse in a food processor the flour and butter until they resemble breadcrumbs. Add 200g ricotta plus salt, bring together, then kneed to a silky dough. Divide into two parts, one almost twice as big as the other. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
Meanwhile, with a bowl of lemon juice and water nearby, trim the artichokes one at a time, cutting away all the leaves and fine hairs until left with the hearts. Cut into 6-8 wedges, then drop into lemon water so they don’t oxidise, before starting the next artichoke.
Soften the shallots gently in extra virgin olive oil for 6-7 mins, then add the artichoke hearts and sauté for another 3-4 mins. Increase the temperature, add the wine, then stew and steam for 15-20 mins with the lid ajar, until the hearts are tender. Remove from the heat, stir the marjoram through and leave to cool.
Beat two eggs together. Then, in a mixing bowl, combine almost all of the beaten eggs, plus the remaining ricotta, parmesan, the artichokes, nutmeg and pepper.
Heat the oven to 200C. Oil and flour a deep 20cm, spring-release cake tin. On a floured surface roll the larger piece of pastry 2-3mm thick, into a shape that will fill the tin, leaving a 1-2cm overhang. Line the tin and fill with the artichoke mix. Make four indentations in the mix and crack an egg into each one.
Roll the second piece of dough into a disc to fit the top, add that, then fold and crimp the overhang. Paint with the remaining egg and bake in the hot oven for 40-45 mins until golden. Remove and leave to cool for at least 30 mins before slicing and serving.
Images: Joe Woodhouse
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