Ricotta Tart - Bolognese Style / Torta di Ricotta alla Bolognese
Makes One 11-Inch Tart
Golden-rich ricotta tarts are a specialty of the arcaded city of Bologna. Some are filled with hazelnuts and chocolate; others have sweet almond paste; and there are even some filled with tagliatelle! This one has an easy-to-make custard and ricotta filling.
The amount of pastry dough here is enough for 2 small tart shells. I make one large round tart and one long and narrow rectangular shell, which I freeze for future use.
- 2 large eggs pluslarge yolk
- 1 1/4 cups sugar
- 1/4 cup King Arthur™ Unbleached, All-Purpose Flour
- 2 cups milk, scalded and cooled slightly
- 1 1/2 cups ricotta cheese, well drained
- 1 Grated zest oflarge lemon
- 1 1/2 cups King Arthur™ Unbleached, All-Purpose Flour
- 1/3 cup cornstarch
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter, cut into pieces
- 1 large egg
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- In a medium stainless-steel saucepan, beat the whole eggs and 3/4 cup sugar with a wire whisk until well blended. Add the 1/4 cup flour a little at a time and blend well. Gradually add the milk and whisk well. Place the saucepan over medium heat and whisk the mixture constantly for about 6 minutes, or until it thickens enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon. Place the filling in a bowl and cover with a sheet of buttered waxed paper. Set aside.
- In another bowl, with a hand-held mixer, beat the ricotta, remaining sugar, and egg yolk until very smooth. Fold in the lemon zest. Add the cooled filling, blend well, and set aside.
- Preheat the oven to 375ºF. Lightly grease an 11-inch round tart pan and a 14 by 4-inch rectangular pan with removable bottoms.
- With a food processor or by hand, combine the flour and cornstarch in a bowl; add the remaining dough ingredients and mix until a soft ball begins to form. Knead the dough for just a few minutes on a floured surface, then divide it in half. Pat each half into a tart pan to cover the bottom and sides. Freeze the rectangular shell for future use.
- Pour the filling into the round tart pan and smooth the top. Bake for 40 to 50 minutes, or until a knife inserted in the middle comes out clean. Remove the tart to a rack to cool completely. Remove the sides from the pan, place the tart on a serving dish, and cut into wedges to serve.
- Variation: Cut thin slices of fresh strawberries, kiwi fruit or figs to layer over the top. Glaze with warmed apricot or apple jelly.
- As an alternative, make one thicker-crusted tart in a 16-inch pan.
This recipe was featured on Season 4 - Episode 411.
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