Baked Ricotta Tart

Somebody once told me that (sweeping generalization alert) women always read the dessert section of a menu first. Sounds pretty much like me! It also makes sense.  How else would you know what kind of main to order if you didn’t know what else you needed to leave room for?

So with that in mind I am starting my Easter Brunch Menu reveal with dessert which is this Baked Ricotta Tart.  You will notice that I used the same pastry here as I did for this tart.  The reason why I like this particular recipe so much is that it is not très temperamental, and by that I mean that it hasn’t shrunk on me like others have.  I don’t mind the resting overnight either, it takes one less thing off the day’s to-do list.

Why Ricotta? Ricotta is slightly sweet and a lot lighter than cream cheese.  Its crumble texture beats quite smooth and it goes really well with chocolate and nuts which is why it’s often used in Italian desserts.   I can’t think of a really good reason why you couldn’t use a good cream cheese for this tart instead, other than that it’s really fun to use ingredients you wouldn’t have in your fridge as a norm, especially for a celebration meal.

I found my ricotta at Tannie Woolie but I don’t usually struggle to find it at my local super either.

If baking this tart the morning of the brunch completely stresses you out, by all means make it the day before, cover it in cling-wrap and store in the refrigerator.  Just remember to bring it back to room temperature before serving.

Together with a delicious cappuccino I think this tart perfect as is, but you could serve it with a little lightly whipped cream if you would like.

What you need

Pastry
380 g flour
50 ml sugar
150 g butter, cubed
2 egg yolks
30 ml lemon juice
50 ml cold water

Filling
500 g Ricotta, drained
125 ml sugar
15 ml vanilla
2 eggs
125 ml cream
100g chocolate
60 ml candied mix peel

Topping
3 egg whites
Pinch salt
50 g caster sugar

  1. To make the pastry combine the flour and sugar in a mixing bowl.
  2.  Add the butter and using the k-beater attachment of your mixer or processor run the butter through the flour until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.
  3. Beat together the egg yolks, lemon juice and water and add to the flour mixture.
  4. Process until the pastry comes together.
  5. Knead lightly on a floured surface.
  6. Roll out the pastry to fit your tart dish, taking effort to ensure that the pastry is as thin as possible.
  7. Line the tart dish and neaten off the edges.  Prick the pastry with a fork.
  8. Place the pastry in the refrigerator overnight.
  9. The following day line the pastry with baking paper and fill with baking beans or rice.
  10. Bake in a preheated oven at 200 degrees Celsius for 20 – 25 minutes until golden.
  11. Allow to cool and remove the beans.
  12. To make the filling, place the ricotta in a large mixing bowl.
  13. Beat in the sugar, vanilla, whole eggs and cream.
  14. Stir in the chocolate and the mixed peel.
  15. Spoon the filling into the pastry case and bake at 180 degrees Celsius for 20 minutes.
  16. In the meantime, whisk the egg whites with a pinch of sale until firm and then beat in the caster sugar.
  17. Remove the cake from the oven and pipe or spoon the meringue on top of the cake.
  18. Lower the oven temperature to 150 degrees Celsius.
  19. Bake the tart for a further 20 minutes.  Watch that the meringue does not colour too deeply.  Cover with a loose layer of foil if you do get concerned.
  20. Remove from the oven and cool.
  21. Serve at room temperature.

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