October 27, 2009

Ricotta Tart

This is one of those wonderfully adaptable recipes. It works for any season too! This one is made with black seedless grapes, but if strawberries are in season, use them. If you love plums, slice them thinly and use them, raspberries, blueberries, etc.

Makes 1 10x10 tart

Puff Pastry (if you can find ‘Dufour’ brand, that’s best. If not Pepperidge Farm makes a very decent product)**
8 oz. ricotta cheese
1 egg
¼ cup superfine sugar (regular can be substituted, but just make sure there are no lumps)
¼ Tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup (might be a bit more or less depending on the size of the grapes) of cleaned, halved grapes, (if using grapes or strawberries, cut them in half. If using a stone fruit, slice thinly. Other berries you can leave whole)

-Preheat oven to 350 degrees, defrost the pastry as per factory directions
-Line a baking sheet with Silpat or parchment paper, and place a 10x10” (roughly, don’t worry if it’s a little smaller or larger) square of pastry on the sheet
-With the back of knife, being careful not to cut the pastry, you just want to score it, create a 1” border
-With a fork, press into the inside of the tart (not the border), all over. Again, just try to indent the pastry, not pierce it. This allows the border (which is untouched) to puff up, while the center will remain flat
-Mix the ricotta, egg, vanilla, and sugar together
-Using a spoon, or offset spatula, spread the mixture onto the center of the tart, try to get all the corners filled. Make sure the mixture is evenly spread
-Place grapes on pastry in rows
-Place tart in oven and cook for approx 30 minutes. Puff pastry cooks quickly and depending on the oven unevenly. If you see one side browning and puffing quicker than another, turn the baking sheet
-Tart is done when pastry is puffed a golden brown
-Let cool, cut and serve

If you’d like, you can glaze the fruit with a thin layer of apricot jam. See “Rustic Apple Tart” for directions.

**You can make it from scratch and while it’s not difficult, it’s a process. If you’re feeling adventurous, I recommend trying Martha Stewart’s recipe here.

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