We have been enjoying strawberry season here for weeks!I had to bake these Strawberry and Ricotta Tarts-crostate di ricotta e fragole a couple of times as soon as I was baking with ripe spring berries!!
I adore baking with strawberries. I think I went a little overboard these last few weeks and baked quite a few desserts with strawberries. There were juicy and plump strawberries tempting me wherever I went. Not that anyone was complaining.
I started to get busy baking and the first thing I made was this and it was huge success. The custard like filling made with ricotta and eggs is heavenly as a base for the delicate strawberries. The tart is buttery and delicate. Like many Italian desserts, it’s not overly sweet.
A perfect summer strawberry tart I will be making over and over again. I chose to make my tart in mini tart pans. You could make it one regular tart pan. I love the idea of everyone getting their own individual dessert (and they’re so adorable!). It is a perfect dessert showcasing the season’s fresh strawberries. You could also make the tart with raspberries or blueberries (or a combo of all the fresh berries you find).
Strawberry and Ricotta Tarts
- 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour plus more for dusting
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- Pinch fine sea salt
- 1 stick 1/2 cup unsalted butter, cold, cut into small pieces, plus more for greasing pans
- 1 1/4 cups fresh whole-milk ricotta cheese
- 4 large egg yolks
- ½ cup sugar
- ½ teaspoon orange flower water I used 1 teaspoon Limoncello
- Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
- ¾ pound strawberries sliced
- Confectioners sugar for dusting
- In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar and salt. Add butter and rub mixture between fingers until it resembles coarse meal. Make a well in center, add 2 tablespoons water and mix together to form a dough. Knead dough 3 to 4 times, flatten into a disc, wrap in plastic and chill at least 1 hour or overnight.
- Butter 4 mini tart pans or a 9 1/2-inch tart pan. On a lightly floured work surface, roll out dough to a 12-inch round. Cut out four portions to fit the small tart pans. Fit dough into tart pan, pressing into edges (repeat with the other 3 tarts); chill until firm, about 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, heat oven to 400º with rack in middle. Line tart pan with parchment paper, leaving at least 1-inch overhang. Fill with pie weights or dried beans. Bake until edges are pale golden, about 10 minutes. Remove parchment and weights; continue to bake until bottom of crust is pale golden and edges are beginning to brown, about 5 minutes more. Cool shell completely on wire rack.
- Reduce oven temperature to 350º. In a large bowl, whisk cheese until smooth. Add egg yolks, sugar, orange flower water and lemon zest; whisk together to combine.
- Spread filling into cooled tart shell; bake, rotating once halfway through, until just set in center and a cake tester inserted in center of tart comes out clean, about 35 minutes. Transfer pan to a wire rack and let cool completely.
- Arrange strawberries in concentric circles atop tart; dust edge of crust with confectioners sugar. Remove tart from pan.