How could I resist baking this tart? It's full of all the things I love... and ingredients that I usually have on hand, making it very easy to assemble for last night's dinner. This recipe is from the book, Pie by Angela Boggiano. I found the book at a local discount/used bookstore and purchased it originally for the "noble" or "raised" pie recipes that are baked in tall, decorative pans or molds. They are works of art, and although I can't see myself searching for pigeon breasts or pigs feet, that are called for in some of the fillings, I'm instead envisioning layers of roasted vegetables and hard-boiled eggs encased in walls of golden pastry... more to my liking.
But, back to the ricotta tart... If you follow LivingTastefully, you already know that I love using my homemade fresh ricotta (recipe HERE) in just about everything. And, although it's easy to make, don't feel like you must do that. Purchased fresh ricotta is absolutely fine. I also have candied orange rind (recipe HERE) on hand most of the time... for my favorite cookies and alongside an afternoon espresso!
The author compares this filling to Sicilian cannoli pastry desserts and that is exactly the memory I have when eating this ricotta tart. Plus, Boggiano recommends always preheating a baking sheet to place your pies and tarts on; a little trick than ensures a well-baked bottom crust.
I did several things differently than in the original recipe. • I used a favorite tart pastry. It was enough dough to line the deep tart pan, but wasn't enough for a lattice topping. If you would like lattice on the top of your pie, increase the pastry recipe, below, by half. The white looking dots on the top of the filling are from a piece of the pastry dough that remained and I cut into small circles... wouldn't do that again. • The recipe called for 3 extra-large eggs, which I did not have. I substituted 4 of the smallest large eggs I could find. • And, the last thing, I increased the oven temperature by 25 degrees which was perfect.
• 1 1/2 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour
• 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
• 4 teaspoons sugar
• 8 tablespoons cold, unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
• 4 tablespoons ice water
• extra flour for rolling pastry
• 1 pound fresh ricotta (recipe HERE)
• 1/3 cup superfine sugar
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
• 3 extra-large or 4 large eggs (see • above in text)
• 1/2 cup candied orange rind (recipe HERE)
• 1/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
• 1/3 cup currants
• Grated zest of 1 lemon
• Confectioner's sugar for dusting
TO MAKE THE PASTRY
1. Pulse 1 1/2 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour, the salt and sugar in a food processor. Add butter; pulse until pea-size lumps form. Drizzle 3 tablespoons ice water over the mixture. Pulse until moist clumps form, adding more ice water by drips if dry. Gather dough into a ball and flatten into a disk. Wrap in plastic; chill 2 hours.
2. Roll out dough on a lightly floured surface. Transfer to a 9-inch x 1 3/4-inch fluted tart pan with a removable bottom. Gently press onto bottom and up sides of the tart pan. Trim. Refrigerate until needed.
TO MAKE THE FILLING
1. Preheat oven to 375˚F. Place a baking sheet on bottom shelf of oven to preheat.
2. Place the ricotta in a large bowl and whip with a wire whisk until smooth. Beat in the sugar, vanilla extract and eggs, one at a time, until combined.
3. Stir in the candied orange rind, chocolate chips, currants and lemon zest. Pour into the pastry shell.
4. Place tart pan on the preheated baking sheet on the lowest oven shelf and bake for 55 minutes until golden. Set aside for 15 minutes to cool in the pan before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. Dust with confectioner's sugar before serving.
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