Italian Plum-Topped Ricotta Tart

This recipe is inspired by both my Italian heritage and my childhood growing up in Boston’s historic Italian North End—where ricotta pies and cannoli could be had at every corner bakery—and every corner had a bakery! Plan ahead so it has time to cool before topping with delicious summer fruits such as plums, peaches or berries.
By | June 09, 2016

Preparation

In the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade, add flour, sugar, salt, baking powder and baking soda. Pulse to combine. Add butter and pulse to a cornmeal consistency. Add egg, vanilla and fresh lemon zest. Pulse until dough forms a ball (this should be fairly quick). Remove dough and wrap in plastic wrap. Chill in refrigerator for 1 hour or overnight.

Preheat oven to 350°. On a wellfloured surface, roll out dough in a 12-inch circle. Line a 9- or 10-inch pie plate with dough, leaving a .-inch overhang (trim as needed). Crimp the edges. Using a fork, prick small holes all over the bottom. Cover completely with aluminum foil. Refrigerate for 15 minutes. Fill with pie weights. (Dried beans or rice will work.) Bake for 12–15 minutes. Let cool before removing the weights and foil. The crust should be a lovely pale yellow hue.

Meanwhile, prepare the filling. Preferably using a stand mixer with a whisk attachment, combine ricotta, heavy cream, eggs and vanilla. Then add confectioners’ sugar. Mix for several minutes until smooth and creamy. Taste for sweetness, adding more sugar if you prefer. Pour into cooled pie shell and bake for 45–55 minutes, or until center is golden yellow and slightly jiggly (it will set when cooled). Cool at room temperature for 1 hour, then refrigerate.

When cooled completely, slice plums (or peaches) and set them atop filling, slightly layered in a circular pattern (or use berries). For glaze, heat apricot jam in a small saucepan until it turns liquid, then brush over fruit until a nice even glaze is formed. (Or simply leave natural and sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar.) Enjoy!

About this recipe

WINE PAIRING Roussanne Botrytis 2009, Truchard Vineyards, Napa Valley, California—I prefer wine as sweet or sweeter than my dessert, so it doesn’t seem bitter in comparison. Roussanne Botrytis is a sweet late-harvest wine filled with flavors of ripe fruit, spice and honey. It stands up to the dessert but has enough acidity to keep it interesting.

—Amelia Wilson, Grapes & Gourmet, Jamestown

Ingredients

Crust (Pasta Frolla)
  • 1¾ cups all-purpose flour
  • ⅓ cup granulated sugar
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ pound (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes
  • 1 fresh farm egg
  • ¾ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
Ricotta Filling
  • 16 ounces fresh Narragansett Creamery ricotta cheese
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 3 medium eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • ¾ cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 3–4 fresh ripe plums, peaches or 1½ cups fresh berries, washed
  • ½ cup apricot jam for glazing (optional)
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