I like autumny things. Its summer and berries abound, and yet you’ll need to pry my hands away from the ginger and nutmeg with a crow bar. I’ll blame the san francisco grey fog/mist mix drifting in my window at the moment. In an attempt to inspire, I drove down to an organic strawberry farm for some picking a few weeks ago. I hunched down into the bushes to find the ripest, most scarlet gems, and schemed all the delicious things I would make. However, by the time I pulled together the ingredients and time to make this tart, my trophy berries were but a memory.
so I reluctantly acquired some decoy strawberries from the produce stand down the street. Despite this minor tragedy, the resulting tart is my favorite thing I’ve made in a while. Its so light but rich at the same time with a subtle almond meal crust and just the right amount of lemon and sugar in the filling. It reminds me of a lemon sfogliatella, an italian pastry dough filled with light lemon ricotta.
Its also quite easy and idiot proof to throw together since there is no technique really. You just mix everything together and then you’re done. Making the crust is really the only involved aspect, which is still relatively easy. This is the first recipe I’ve made from this book, which is quite the exciting introduction, and I owe many thanks to its bestower- a beautiful friend that loves cooking as much as I do
Ricotta Tart (from The Craft of Baking by Karen DeMasco )
1/2 recipe almond sable dough (recipe below) or other tart crust
for the filling:
1 lb of whole milk ricotta cheese, drained overnight*
1/4 cup + 2 tbspns sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
zest of 3 lemons
3 egg yolks
1/4 cup of heavy cream
1/4 cup of creme fraiche
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees farenheit. Roll out crust dough into an 11 inch round. Press into a 9-10 inch tart pan with removable bottom. Use a paring knife to cut away extra dough from the edges. Cover with parchment paper and pie weights or dried beans. Bake on center rack for 15-20 minutes until slightly golden on the edges. Remove pie weight and parchment paper. Return to the oven and bake 15-20 minutes until golden all over. Cool on a wire rack until it is room temperature.
Leave the oven on while preparing the filling. Whisk together all the filling ingredients until smooth, fill the crust and bake for 25-30 minutes until puffy on the edges and slightly liquid in the center. Cool on a wire rack. Serve at room temperature.
*to drain overnight line a mesh strainer with a coffee filter and place over a small bowl. Add ricotta and cover with plastic wrap.
*I used part skim ricotta which worked totally fine, but I assume is a tad less rich
Almond Sable Crust
- 2 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
- 3/4 cup almond flour
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 14 tablespoons (1 3/4 sticks) chilled unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
- 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon confectioners’ sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 large egg yolk
In a bowl, whisk together the all-purpose flour, almond flour, and salt.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the butter and confectioners’ sugar. Mix on medium-low speed until well combined, about 4 minutes.
Mix in the egg and then the yolk, allowing each to be incorporated before adding the next. In two additions, add the flour mixture, scraping down the sides of the bowl after each addition.
Turn out the dough onto a clean lightly floured work surface. Divide it in half, shape into flattened disks, and wrap each one in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour, or overnight. (The dough can be frozen for up to 1 month; thaw it overnight in the refrigerator before using.)