Ricotta Cream Filling
1 1/4 cups heavy cream
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
32 ounce tub ricotta cheese
3 cups fresh strawberries, hulled and divided
1/3 cup strawberry jam
Pinch of salt
Chopped pistachios for garnish (optional)
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons salt 5 large eggs
1 2/3 cups whole milk
1 1/4 cups water
3 tablespoons melted butter
Zest of 1 lemon & 1 tablespoon juice
Ricotta Cream Filling
Place the ricotta cheese in a mixing bowl. Pour the heavy cream, sugar, and vanilla extract into a Vitamix Blender jar. Cover and press "Start" at level 1. Turn the machine up to increase the speed to level 10. Blend for 10-15 seconds for soft peaks. Do not over mix, or you will churn butter!
Scoop the whipped cream out of the blender jar and gently fold it into the ricotta cheese with a spatula. (Do not put the ricotta in the blender, or it will collapse.) Refrigerate until ready to use.
Rinse out the blender jar. Add 2 cups trimmed strawberries, strawberry jam, and a pinch of salt to the jar. Cover and blend. Start at level 1, and increase the speed until the strawberries are liquefied. Pour the strawberry sauce into a small container and refrigerate until ready to serve.
Rinse out the blender jar. Add the flour, sugar, salt, eggs, milk, water, melted butter, the zest of 1 lemon, and 1 tablespoon lemon juice. Cover and blend on level 1, for 5 seconds. Then increase the speed up to level 10 until the mixture is frothy. Scrape the edges of the jar if flour clumps are visible. Then cover and blend again for 5-10 seconds.
Heat a 9-10 inch flat nonstick crepe pan over medium heat. Once the pan is hot, use a 1/4 cup scoop to pour batter in the center of the crepe pan. Quickly lift and swirl the pan to create a thin 9-inch circle of batter. Set the pan back on the stovetop. If you have trouble making even circles, you can use a spatula to quickly move the batter to sparse areas of the pan.
Cook each crepe for 30-40 seconds per side, flipping with a wide flat spatula. The first side should be a light golden color, while the second side should be lighter, with golden speckles. If your crepes are taking longer than 90 seconds total per crepe, turn the heat up to medium-high.
Move the crepe to a parchment paper lined baking sheet (or plate) and repeat, repeat, repeat. The crepes will be brittle at first, but will soften within minutes. You should end up with 20-24 crepes. It's ok to stack them on the sheet. If they are fully cooked, they will not stick together.
Cool the crepes completely before moving on. You can move the baking sheet to the refrigerator to speed up the cooling time.
Once the crepes are completely cool, start stacking the cake. Place one crepe on a cake stand. Spread about 1/4 cup ricotta filling over the crepe in a thin circle, leaving a 1/2 inch rim around the edges without cream. Top with another crepe and repeat. Continue spreading ricotta cream, and stacking crepes, until all the ricotta filling and/or crepes are use. Use a flat plate or baking sheet to press down on the top of the cake to even out all the layers. Cover loosely with plastic and refrigerate until ready to serve.
Slice the remaining 1 cup of fresh strawberries and arrange the strawberry slices on top of the cake. Pour some of the strawberry sauce over the strawberries, letting it run down the sides a little. Reserve the remaining sauce for drizzling over individual slices of cake. Sprinkle the top of the cake with chopped pistachios if desired.
When ready to cut the cake, use a serrated knife and cut in a gentle sawing motion for smooth even slices. Serve with extra strawberry sauce.