There’s something about the salty creaminess of cheese and tart berries that just make a perfect combination. Ricotta and berry tartlets are the perfect example. If you’re short on time, you can replace the berry compote with 250ml (1 cup) of berry jam. For one large tart, use a 3,5cm deep, 22cm diameter loose-bottomed tart tin and bake for 55 minutes.
Ricotta and berry tartlets
- 330g cake flour
- 100g (½ cup) castor sugar
- grated rind of 1 lemon
- 7,5ml (1½ tsp) baking powder
- pinch of salt
- 150g butter, cold and chopped
- 1 large egg
- 1 large egg yolk
- 350g mixed frozen berries
- 210g (1 cup) castor sugar
- 480g (2 cups) fresh ricotta
- 70g castor sugar
- seeds of 1 vanilla pod or 2,5ml (½ tsp) vanilla extract
- 3 large eggs
- icing sugar, for dusting
For the pastry, combine the flour, sugar, lemon rind, baking powder and salt in a food processor. Gradually add the butter, mixing until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add the egg and yolk and mix until combined. Be careful not to overwork the pastry.
Turn the mixture out onto a clean work surface. Bring the pastry together, shape into a disk, wrap in plastic and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
For the compote, place the berries and sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat and stir until the sugar dissolves. Once it begins to boil, turn the heat down and leave to simmer
gently until the mixture starts to thicken, about 30 – 45 minutes. It should have a jam-like texture.
For the filling, beat the ricotta in a food processor until smooth. Transfer to a bowl and use a wooden spoon to beat in the sugar and vanilla. Add the eggs one at a time and mix until
combined. Preheat the oven to 180ºC.
Roll out a third of the pastry on a lightly floured surface to 5mm thick. Line 6 x 12cm tartlet tins with the pastry. Trim the edges. Roll out the remaining pastry and cut into 1cm-wide strips.
Divide the ricotta filling between the pastry cases and top with the berry compote. Arrange the strips at 1cm intervals across the top of the tart. Repeat crossways to form a lattice. Press the edges down to seal.
Bake on the lowest shelf of the oven for 20 – 25 minutes. Remove from the oven, dust with icing sugar and serve.