Sweet ricotta tart

Sweet ricotta tart
  • Serves icon Makes 10-12 slices
  • Time icon Hands-on time 20 min, oven time 30-35 min, plus chilling

Julia Busuttil Nishimura’s sweet ricotta tart with dark chocolate and Italian candied fruit is a perfect dessert for Easter or a weekend feast.

Julia says: “Ricotta is something I always have in my fridge. I love it on toast in the mornings or dolloped over pasta. It’s also wonderful in desserts, and nothing showcases ricotta in quite the same way as this tart. Studded with Italian candied citrus and dark chocolate, it’s inspired by pastiera – a Neapolitan tart traditionally eaten at Easter time.”

This recipe is adapted from A Year of Simple Family Food by Julia Busuttil Nishimura (Plum £18.99).

Inspired by Julia’s love of ricotta? We’ve got recipes for savoury ricotta tarts, too – like this tomato, thyme and ricotta version.

 

Nutrition: Per Serving (for 12)

Calories
499kcals
Fat
32.1g (17.7g saturated)
Protein
11.5g
Carbohydrates
40.2g (20.5g sugars)
Fibre
1.4g
Salt
0.2g
Calories
499kcals
Fat
32.1g (17.7g saturated)
Protein
11.5g
Carbohydrates
40.2g (20.5g sugars)
Fibre
1.4g
Salt
0.2g

Ingredients

  • 700g ricotta
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 200ml double cream
  • Finely grated zest 1 lemon
  • 1 tbsp marsala
  • 1 vanilla pod, split and seeds scraped, or 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 medium free-range eggs, plus 1 egg yolk, lightly beaten
  • 50g dark chocolate (70% cocoa), finely chopped
  • 2-3 tbsp finely chopped Italian candied fruit (see tip)
  • 3 tbsp pine nuts

For the sweet pastry

  • 300g plain flour, plus extra to dust
  • 150g unsalted butter, cubed and chilled
  • 80g caster sugar
  • 1 medium free-range egg, plus 1 egg yolk
  • Finely grated zest 1 lemon
  • 1 vanilla pod, split and seeds scraped, or 1 tsp vanilla extract

You’ll also need

  • Deep 24cm fluted tart tin, loose-based

Useful to have

  • Food processor

Method

  1. To make the dough for the pastry, pulse the flour and butter together in a food processor until you have pea-size lumps of butter. Add the sugar and pulse to combine. Add the egg and yolk, lemon zest and vanilla seeds/paste and continue to pulse until the mixture almost forms a ball. (Alternatively, see the food team’s tip.) Tip the dough onto a work surface and bring it together with your hands. Wrap well, flatten into a disc and chill for at least 1 hour.
  2. Heat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan/gas 4. On a lightly floured work surface, roll out the pastry into a circle larger than your tart tin and 2mm thick. Drape it over the tart tin, pressing in the pastry, then roll your rolling pin along the edges of the tin to trim off any excess. Chill for 15 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, whisk the ricotta, sugar and cream together in a large bowl until smooth. Change to a wooden spoon and stir in the lemon zest, marsala and vanilla. Gently stir in the eggs until just combined, followed by the chocolate and candied fruit. Pour the mixture into the chilled pastry case, then sprinkle over the pine nuts.
  4. Bake for 30-35 minutes until the pastry is golden and the filling is just set – it should still be a little wobbly. Allow to cool (it will firm up as it cools), then chill in the tin for at least 2 hours. Remove from the tin and serve.

delicious. tips

  1. To make the pastry by hand, put the flour and butter in a large mixing bowl and rub together with your fingertips until breadcrumbs form. Stir in the sugar. Whisk the egg, yolk, zest and vanilla, pour it over the flour, mix with a butter knife, then bring the dough together with your hands.

    Julia says: “Italian candied fruit, also known as Macedonia candito, are most commonly a mixture of cedro (a type of citrus), pear, fig and mandarin. They can be found in Italian delis or online at melburyandappleton.co.uk, and are used in a range of Italian desserts, including cannoli, cassata and sweet breads like panettone. If they’re unavailable and you can’t find a good-quality substitute, leave them out – the tart will still be great.”

  2. Make the pastry and line the tin, then wrap well and chill up to 24 hours ahead of completing the recipe. The cooled tart will keep chilled in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

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