This is a ricotta tart with toasted almonds, crystallized ginger and caramelized pears, in an almond cookie crust. It is very light and tender. The tart can be made from ordinary ricotta, but it's also a great way to use homemade ricotta* or ricotta which is left over from cheesemaking.
I found some lovely Packham pears at the market, and I thought their subtle flavor would work well with ricotta. Finely chopped crystallized ginger, creme fraiche and a bit of almond flour all harmonize with but don't overpower the pears.
Ricotta Tart with Toasted Almonds, Ginger, and Caramelized Pears
Heat oven to 375F
Lightly spray inside of a 9 inch tart pan with removable bottom
*[optional] homemade ricotta: Add 1 tsp citric acid to 1 gal. milk. Heat, stirring as needed to prevent scorching on the bottom, to 190F. When ricotta separates (near 190F), turn off the heat and wait 10 min. Drain through cheesecloth and cool.
2/3 cup almond flour
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
5 T unsalted butter
1/8 tsp salt
2 T cream
1 T water (as necessary)
3 large Packham pears, peeled, cored and quartered
1/2 cup sugar
1 T Butter
3 cups ricotta
1 T almond flour
1/3 cup creme fraiche or sour cream mixed with heavy cream
1 T crystallized ginger, minced very fine
2 T cream
2 tsp flour
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup slivered blanched almonds, for topping
Put the sugar and butter in a saute pan and heat, stirring occasionally, until the sugar is melted and light brown. Add the pears and cook over low heat, turning occasionally, until pears are cooked and syrup is reduced, about 30 minutes. Set aside.
1. In the food processor bowl, combine almond flour, all-purpose flour, sugar, salt and butter; pulse until butter is distributed and the mixture resembles coarse corn meal.
2. Add the cream and pulse 3 or 4 times. Pinch a bit between your fingers; it should hold together easily, but not be wet. If needed, add a few drops water at a time, pulsing and testing between additions.
3. Press the dough into the prepared tart pan, creating an even thickness overall. Refrigerate the crust while preparing the filling.
1. In the food processor bowl, combine the ricotta, all purpose flour, almond flour, crystallized ginger, sugar and eggs; process until smooth.
2. Add creme fraiche and cream, pulse until combined and the mixture is smooth.
Assembling and baking the tart:
1. Pour the filling into the refrigerated crust. Place in preheated oven.
2. After 12 minutes, turn the heat down to 325F.
3. After a total of 35 minutes, or until tart is slightly puffed and golden, brush some of the pear syrup on the hot surface and sprinkle with the blanched almonds; put 8 inches under a hot broiler just until the almonds begin to turn color (lightly toasted). Or toast them more if you prefer. Remove from oven.
4. Cool slightly, then arrange pears on top of the toasted almonds, drizzling syrup over all.
5. Cool the tart, then enjoy!