Ricotta and Poached Pear Tart
At my daycare, on your birthday you are king/queen for one day. We celebrate YOU BIG TIME. We talk about your favourite things to do (if you are verbal) and we let you have the first turn at all the activities. You also get to choose the cake you want and we all make it together because that’s what friends do: we share by giving and receiving. And it’s the same on my birthday. I love GIVING and SHARING. Going out for breakfast is one of my favourite things to do, so off I went for breakfast with the nicest group of women who I am so lucky to call my friends. People were so surprised that I made a simple tart for my birthday, but I honestly thought it would be too much to have a rich cake so soon after breakfast, and I wanted something that would represent me (did I just call myself a simple tart? Damn you, English language, you and your double entendres!). Anyway, this is a simple dessert, ricotta and pear tart, not overly sweet, salt of the earth, no-frills and what you see is what you get and not bad on the eye(or so I’ve been told). If you are a lover of ricotta cheese and cinnamon combined then you will enjoy this tart by Delicious magazine. As usual, I did tweak it a little (I think for the better).
This is not a light tart, the egg yellow makes it dense which I think is great because you can’t keep going back for more (although I managed) I am not a big fan of pears but I love them poached and put them together with ricotta, and it’s the best.
Coming up next are, drum roll please, cakes for my wedding! Yep, I am getting hitched. I will get married on the 28th March and I’m making several cakes, rich and decadent, simple and pretty, but all delicious, so stay tuned, my friends…
150 gm (1 cup) plain flour
55 gm (1 cup) pure icing sugar, sieved
30 gm (¼ cup) almond meal
130 gm chilled butter, diced
1 egg yolk
Pinch of salt
650 gm firm ricotta at room temp
120 brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla bean paste or extract
Finely grated rind of 1 orange and 1 lemon
2 tsp ground cinnamon
3 egg yolks
30g (1/4 cup)almond meal
4 small-medium pears, peeled, cored and cut in half
1/2 cup brown sugar
Juice of half a freshly squeezed lemon
Juice of a half a freshly squeezed orange
1 vanilla pod
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 cups cold water
Preheat oven to 180C.
Process dry ingredients and a pinch of sea salt in a food processor to combine. Add butter and process until fine crumbs form. Add yolk, pulse until the mixture starts to come together, turn onto a work surface and bring together with the heel of your hand. Wrap in a plastic wrap and refrigerate to rest (1 hour).
Roll out pastry on a lightly floured surface, then press into the base and sides of a tart tin. Trim edges and refrigerate to reset (1 hour). Prick base all over with a fork, then blind-bake (cover the pastry with baking paper and pour rice or baking weights) until edges become crisp (6-8 minutes). Remove baking paper and weights and bake until the base is crisp (4-5 minutes), then set aside.
With a handheld mixer, combine all the ricotta filling ingredients until smooth. Pour over the dough-lined pie dish and smooth over. Bake at 180ºC for 45 minutes or until the top is firm and slightly coloured golden brown and the pastry crust is golden.
Place cold water, vanilla, cinnamon, sugar and juices in a saucepan over medium-high heat and stir to combine. Place pears in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Reduce heat to medium-low.
Cook pears, partially covered, turning occasionally, for 25-30 minutes or until they are just tender. Remove from heat and allow to cool in syrup, turning occasionally. Using a slotted spoon, transfer pears to a plate.
Return syrup to medium-high heat. Bring to the boil. Boil for 10 minutes or until liquid is reduced by one-third.
Once the tart has cooled down, place the pears on top, pour syrup on top and sprinkle with your favourite nuts. I used pecans.
This tart can be made a day ahead. Store this tart in the refrigerator and eat within 3 days.
PS - I love hearing from you! Let me know how it went and feel free to spread the word/passion/love, the more the merrier!