Homemade ricotta fills a simple tart shell before being topped with sweet summer berries and a tangy balsamic glaze.
I grew up with a liking for a lot of stuff that other kids my age wanted no part of. Why? My mom shopped the sales. Pigs feet one dollar a pound? She’d buy em, we’d eat them. Vegetables not many people were interested in became my favorite. The one thing this frugal shopping left me with was a taste for sales of any sort. So when our local Whole Foods announced a sale of organic strawberries 2 lbs for 3 bucks, of course I was there. What a deal! I started thinking about things I might do with the berries. Should I make jam, shortcakes again, ice cream?
This recipe for a strawberry ricotta tart started out as a recipe I saw for a regular strawberry tart made with mascarpone cheese, strawberries, and port wine. I thought why not make it a bit lighter with ricotta, and instead of Port wine, (which I didn’t have). I’d use Strawberry Balsamic Vinegar from Sonoma Harvest. I used my special blend of gluten-free flour for the crust, but you can use any type of gluten-free flour, or regular flour if there are no allergies involved.
I made the ricotta myself which is pretty dang easy. It’s also easy to just pick up a carton. If you’d like to make your own ricotta my recipe is here.
For the Tart:
- 1 1/4 cups of flour (regular or gluten free) plus a bit more for dusting
- 3 Tbs sugar
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 7 Tbs unsalted butter chopped up
- 1 egg yolk
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp fresh lemon juice
- 3 Tbs ice water
For The Filling:
- 1 1/2 lbs cleaned trimmed and halved strawberries
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 2 cups of ricotta 16 oz If you are using my recipe (link above) for ricotta double it to have enough for this recipe
- 1/4 cup powdered sugar
- 1 tsp fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 tsp grated fresh lemon zest
- 3/4 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 10 inch tart pan with a removable bottom
- pie weights or dried beans or rice
- Preheat the oven 375 degrees, with the rack in the middle.
- Blend your flour, sugar, butter, and salt in a bowl with a pastry blender, or do as I do and mix it together with a couple of pulses of a food processor. (much easier)
- Blend it until you have a mealy mix. Set it aside
- In a small bowl mix together the egg yolk, vanilla, lemon juice and ice water.
- Drizzle this mixture over the flour mixture and pulse it until you have dough.
- Knead the dough on a lightly floured surface for about 5 times.
- Shape it into a 5 inch disc and put it in the center of your tart pan.
- Cover it with plastic wrap, and then using your fingers, push and spread the dough around the bottom and sides of the pan until they're covered.
- Take a fork and prick the dough all over with a fork through the plastic wrap, then stick the whole thing in the freezer to firm up for 10 minutes.
- Take the tart shell out, peel off the plastic wrap and line the tart shell with aluminum foil.
- Fill it with pie weights or beans.
- Bake the tart until the sides are set and the edges are pale golden. This takes about 20 minutes.
- Carefully take the foil and pie weights out of the tart and pop it back into the oven until it's a deep golden color, another 20 minutes more.
- Cool the tart in the pan for about 45 minutes and remove the ring.
- Stir the strawberries together in a bowl with the granulated sugar and let it sit for about 30 minutes, then strain the juice out of the berries.
Kathy Gori has a passion for Indian cooking. She brings 20 years of cooking experience and a natural flair for communicating her culinary adventures to her blog The Colors of Indian Cooking "A Hollywood Screenwriter, A Bollywood Kitchen". Food writer, commercial and cartoon voice actor (Rosemary the telephone Operator in Hong Kong Phooey among others) and screenwriter (Chaos Theory starring Ryan Reynolds) Kathy is also a Clio award-winner. She and her screenwriting-partner husband Alan live with their Siberian Husky Patsy in Sonoma, California.