This tart is so super rich I suspect it got a big tax cut! (OK. I am bitter.)
It’s easy, too!
And, it makes a pretty impressive presentation. (Who among your guests needs to know that it was a cinch to make?)
The richness in this tart recipe comes from the ample amounts of ricotta that are incorporated into the tart batter. In commercial production, ricotta is the creamy curd by-product from the production of mozzarella or provolone. It is available just about everywhere and works beautifully in this recipe. It also is easy to make your own ricotta at home if you want to give that a try. All you need is full-fat milk heated almost to boiling and a little acid–either lemon juice or vinegar. I took a class at Sur La Table and we made ricotta and mozzarella. The ricotta was a breeze. The mozzarella—not so much.
Ricotta has been around for a very long time. As evidence, here is 16th-century Italian Renaissance painter Vincenzo Campi’s famous painting ‘The Ricotta Eaters.” If you look to the left of the lady-in-green’s cleavage, you will see the ricotta. (I think Vincenzo let his mind wander. Just sayin…)
Here is my adaptation of a recipe that originally appeared on the Cooking With Manuela site: Manuela’s Berry and Ricotta Tart .
- For the crust:
- 1 egg
- 1/3 C sugar
- 4 oz. unsalted butter (softened)
- 1/4 t. salt
- 1 t. vanilla extract
- 2 T. milk
- 1 1/2 C. all-purpose flour
- For the Filling:
- 12 oz. ricotta
- 3 eggs
- 2/3 C. sugar
- 1 t. vanilla
- 2 T. cornstarch (sift it into the batter so that it doesn't clump)
- 1 pinch salt
- Berries (fresh or frozen}
- Grease your tart pan. You should use a tart pan with a removable bottom. Set aside. I used a 14 inch by 4 inch pan with a removable bottom. (The original recipe called for a 14 inch by 5 inch pan, so I had a little batter left over.)
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
- In your food processor, combine the egg with 1/3 C. sugar. Add the butter to the processor bowl and process until the butter is well-incorporated. Add the salt, vanilla extract, 2 T. of milk and the flour. Mix until all of the ingredients are combined. (Your dough will be pretty sticky. That is OK.)
- Scoop the dough into the prepared tart pan. Press it into the pan and up the sides using your fingers. You can dust your fingers and sprinkle a little flour over the dough in the pan to make it a little less sticky to form into the crust. (I definitely had to use flour to handle the dough' stickiness I was a bit skeptical about the dough for this crust because it was so moist. In the end it turned out great.)
- Prick the bottom of the crust with a fork. Set the prepared crust aside.
- Prepare the filling by combining all the filling ingredients in a bowl and mixing well. Pour the filling into the tart crust. Sprinkle berries (I used blueberries) over the top of the tart batter. You can use any berries, fresh or frozen, that you have on hand. I think some raspberries mixed with the blueberries would make for a very pretty presentation.
- Bake at 375 degrees F. for 50-55 minutes or until the edges are golden and the middle of the tart is set. In my oven, the tart was ready at 40 minutes. Watch your tart carefully so that you don't overcook (and dry out) the creamy ricotta tart filling.
- Remove the tart from the oven. Cool on a wire rack. When the tart is cool, remove it from the tart pan and sprinkle it with a generous amount of powdered sugar. Serve and enjoy.
- Store the uneaten tart (if there is any) in the refrigerator.