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  • Writer's pictureNava

Sweet Ricotta Tart

Sweet Ricotta tart

@Benadette Vaux kindly suggested that I enter an SBS cooking competition.

All I had to do was cook/bake a recipe from the SBS Instagram page, tweak the recipe and explain why I tweaked it, take a photo, then share it to my Instagram feed.

Competition closed on the 15th of November, winner drawn on the 19th.

The only date I remembered was the 19th of November. I thought, perfect, I’ll make it for a family gathering on the 15th of November and if it passes my families brutal critique, I’ll make it again and take photos and enter the competition on the 16th November.

I searched for a recipe and found one almost immediately. A perfect-looking Neapolitan tart, traditionally eaten at Easter.

I rushed to the store to purchase the ingredients and began to prepare. I wanted to keep the zesty flavour and the traditional Italian ricotta cheese with its creamy texture and add a hint of Middle-Eastern flavour which would be the perfect compliment for one another, a real sweet love affair. I wasn’t going to mess with the pastry at all.

I replaced the lemon zest in the original recipe with orange zest, the marsala with a splash of orange blossom water, the chocolate with cinnamon and the pine nuts and candied fruit with maple-roasted Almonds which gave it extra texture and complimented the cinnamon.

The crumbly pastry that encased the tart turned out just as well as I’d expected.

I used the leftover egg whites to make baby meringues, to decorate the tart along with the almonds to make it look pretty and give it a festive air since it is a celebratory tart in honour of Easter. Since it’s a festival held in honour of the resurrection of Jesus Christ, I thought I’d place the meringue on top which is made of egg, which can be seen as a symbol of new life. Come to think of it, Jesus lived and preached in the Middle-East, so my Middle-Eastern embellishments are kind of apt in that respect.

After I’d prepared the tart, I was pleased with the photos I’d taken, and I was all ready to upload my entry only to find out, I was too late. Oh well you win some you lose some… I like to fantasise that I would have won … you be the judge

Here is the original Recipe

Nava's version


  • 700g fresh full-fat ricotta

  • 100g caster sugar

  • 200ml pure cream

  • finely grated zest of 1 orange

  • 1 tbsp Rose water or Orange blossom water

  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

  • 2 eggs, plus 1 egg yolk, lightly beaten

  • 50 g dark chocolate(70 per cent cocoa), finely chopped

  • 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon

  • 3 table spoons broken maple roasted almonds + ¼ cup for decorating

Sweet pastry

by Julia Busuttil Nishimura

  • 300g (2 cups) plain flour, plus extra for dusting

  • 150g chilled unsalted butter, cut into cubes

  • 80g (⅓ cup) caster sugar

  • 1egg, plus 1 egg yolk

  • finely grated zest of 1 lemon

  • 1 vanilla pod, split and seeds scraped, or 1 tsp vanilla extract


Chilling time: 3 hours

1. To make the dough for the pastry, pulse the flour and butter together in a food processor until you have pea-sized lumps of butter. Add the sugar and pulse to combine. Add the egg and yolk, lemon zest and vanilla and continue to pulse until the mixture almost forms a ball. Tip the dough onto a work surface and bring it together with your hands. Wrap in plastic wrap and flatten into a disc. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

2. Preheat the oven to 180°C.

3. On a lightly floured work surface, roll out the pastry to a 2-mm thickness. Drape into a deep 24 cm fluted tart tin, pressing the pastry into the tin. Roll your rolling pin along the edges of the tin to trim any excess pastry, then refrigerate for 15 minutes.

4. take pastry out of the fridge and bake for aprox 15 minutes or until golden in colour.


Meanwhile, whisk the ricotta, sugar, cinnamon and cream together in a large bowl until smooth. Change to a wooden spoon and stir in the, vanilla, rose water and orange zest. Gently stir in the eggs until just combined followed by the chocolate and three table spoons of maple roasted nuts. Pour into the chilled pastry case.

Bake for 30–35 minutes until the filling is just set – it should still be a little wobbly. Allow to cool, then refrigerate for at least 2 hours until chilled. Remove from the tin and serve.

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.

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