May 14, 2013

Tart with ricotta and strawberries

This is an improved version of a recipe I saw on Rai Uno. We ate the original I made on Sunday, but I wasn't impressed. It got better the next day, but still it was more like a cheesecake than a tart.

So Today, before breakfast, I rolled up my sleeves all excited to follow my new idea for the cake. I used the crust ingredients from Julia Child, but the method to make it from the Italian show. I decreased the crust, cheese and starch amount by half, leaving egg count the same. I added more lemon zest and I didn't have to wait overnight for the dessert to get better. It was all set after an hour or so. 

I love the idea of brushing warm preserves on strawberries. It works like magic. This step should never be omitted. It brings fruit to life, changing the tart from looking dull and old to fantastic and fresh. Just like it tastes!

Recipe inspired by La Prova del Cuoco
time: 20 min preparation + 40 min baking + 1 hr cooling


for crust
  • 95 g (2/3 cups) flour
  • 80 g (5 1/2 Tablespoons) cold butter, diced small
  • 1 Tablespoon sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • zest from 1 small lemon
  • 2 1/2 Tablespoons chilled water
for filling
  • 250 g (1/2 lbs) ricotta
  • 100 g (1/2 cup) sugar
  • 24 g (3 Tablespoons) potato starch
  • 3 eggs
  • zest from 1 small lemon
  • 500 g (1 lbs)  fresh strawberries, hulled and sliced in four
  • 1/4 cup apricot preserves

  1. Preheat oven to 180C/350F (static function). Prepare a 23 cm (9 inch) round tart baking form and two sheets of parchment paper.
  2. Prepare crust. In a food processor with a steal blade, blend flour, sugar, saltlemon zest and diced butter, till all greased. Add the water. Continue blending till a solid mass is formed. The less you work, the more delicate and easier to work with the dough will be. 
  3. Place a piece of parchment paper on the rolling board, put the dough on top, cover it with another piece of paper. With a rolling pin, roll the dough through the paper till flat and about 2 inches (5 cm) larger than your baking form. Take the top paper off. You might need to scrape some dough off from the top paper. Transfer the bottom piece of paper with the dough on it onto the baking form. Press it against the form, just a little bit. Pierce it with a fork in a couple of places. Put it in tho hot oven for 8 minutes. 
  4. Meanwhile, prepare filling. In a bowl of a standing mixer with a whisk attachment, mix all the ingredients till combined, about 2-3 minutes.
  5. Pour the filling onto the pre-baked crust. Arrange strawberries on top. Place it in the hot oven for about 40 minutes, till browned around the edges. Take it out of the oven. 
  6. In small pot, slowly bring the apricot preservers to boil and cook them for 2-3 minutes, mixing constantly. Brush the hot preserves onto the hot tart. Transfer the tart (with the parchment paper) onto a cooling rack for further cooling and then in the fridge, for on hour or so. 

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