Fresh Strawberry and Ricotta Tart (simplified)
Adapted from Rustic Fruit Desserts by Julie Richardson and Cory Schreiber, as adapted by www.seriouseats.com
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- 1 prepared pie crust (the kind you buy folded in the refrigerator section)
- 1 cup whole-milk ricotta cheese
- 6 oz. cream cheese, softened to room temperature
- 3/4 granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 to 2 teaspoons lemon zest (the original recipe calls for nutmeg, but I substituted lemon zest and loved the fresh flavor)
- 2 eggs
- 3 pints (or 1.5 quarts, or 6 cups) strawberries that have been hulled and cut into halves or quarters. Only fresh-grown, seasonal berries just picked from a nearby field or garden will really do this recipe justice.
- 1/2 cup strawberry jam (optional)
- Whipped topping of choice (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Unfold the pie crust into an ungreased pie pan, pressing it into the proper shape and crimping the edges. Bake as directed for a single-crust pie. (Yes, of course you can make your own pie crust from scratch! But this is a simplified recipe and frankly, I am not the best one to be telling other people how to make a good pastry.) Remove from oven.
- Using handheld or stand mixer, mix the ricotta, cream cheese, sugar, salt, and lemon zest. Add eggs one at a time, beating until smooth, then stir in the vanilla.
- Pour the filling into the prebaked crust and bake in the middle of the oven for 30 minutes or so, or until the edges have puffed up but the middle is still somewhat soft and wobbly. Cool to room temperature, then chill in the fridge for at least an hour.
- Just before serving, warm the strawberry jam in the microwave or in a small saucepan, over low heat. Pour the jam over the strawberries (in a bow) and toss to coat. Arrange the berries over the tart and serve. If you want to cut down on sugar you can just skip the jam altogether and serve the pie heaped with fresh, naturally sweet berries. We topped each slice with whipped cream and that added just the right grace note.
- This is a rich-tasting but not overly sweet dessert, and it allows the amazing flavor of fresh, just-picked strawberries to dominate. Make this pie after you've already had your first strawberry shortcake of the season and want a slightly different, a bit more formal, strawberry dessert.
- (Originally published May 22, 2013)
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