I love experimenting with variety of tastes. Now and then, I would try a new recipe and my family will get to vote if this becomes a classic dish to be added in our kitchen repertoire and cooked over and over again. Through time we have become discerned critics commenting on every new attempt “Valuable effort, but…”, “Interesting, but…” and the final “Wow, congratulations! This is awesome”. The “awesome” recipes get an entry into the family cook book.
This delicious Parmesan Tomato Ricotta Tart recipe is one of them. Gorgeous buttery and flaky, salty almond crust, filled with light and soft cream cheese ricotta fragrant with lime zest and parmesan, topped with soft and juicy bursts of variety of yellow, purple and red cheery tomatoes and a touch of crunchy pine nuts and sprinkled fresh basil and oregano leaves. Perfect combination of flavours, textures and tastes.
This recipe makes for a light dinner or lunch. It could be served on its own as a main dish or be a companion to other picnic summer bites. Whatever the arrangement it guarantees a feast of sumptuous delight.
For the tart dough:
- 3 tablespoons almond flour/meal
- 155 grams all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling
- Pinch of salt
- 155 grams unsalted butter, cold
- 2-4 tablespoons ice-cold water
For the ricotta filling:
- 245 grams fresh ricotta cheese, at room temperature
- 115 grams cream cheese, at room temperature
- ½ cup grated parmesan cheese
- 1 teaspoon lime zest
- 1 teaspoon lime juice
For the topping:
- 2 cups tomatoes, I used a combination of variety of red, purple and yellow cherry tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon black Pepper
- ¼ cup leaves of fresh basil, loosely packed
- 2 tablespoons fresh oregano leaves
- 1 tablespoons Pine nuts (optional)
1. To make the tart dough: Combine almond flour, all-purpose flour, and salt in a large bowl. Using your hands, cut the cold butter into flour mixture. Add the cold water, starting with 2 tablespoons, stirring with a wooden spoon and gradually adding as much water as you need to make the dough moist. At this point, you want the dough to stick together easily. Turn it into a piece of plastic and shape it into 4-inch disk. Cover tightly and refrigerate for 30 minutes to an hour.
2. To make the ricotta filling: Using a rubber spatula, combine ricotta, cream cheese, and parmesan in a bowl. Fold in the lime zest and juice. Season it with ½ teaspoon kosher salt and ¼ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper.
3. To bake the tart: Remove dough from the fridge. If it is too cold, let it sit on the counter for a few minutes. Remove the plastic. Using a rolling pin, roll it into 11-inch circle on a well floured surface. Place the dough into 9-inch tart pan with a removable bottom making sure the dough is evenly distributed throughout the pan. Using your fingers be sure to push the dough in the corners of the pan. Trim the sides. Prick the bottom of the tart all over with a fork. Place it in the freezer for 15 minutes.
4. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 200 C degrees.
5. Remove the tart pan from the freezer. Place a sheet of parchment paper on top and fill it with dried beans (or pie weights). Place in the oven for 15 minutes, then remove the beans and parchment paper and bake for another 20-25 minutes, until lightly golden brown. Let it cool on a cooling rack for at least 15 minutes before filling.
6. To Assemble the Tart: Half or quarter the tomatoes and place it in a bowl. Stir in the olive oil, salt and pepper.
7. Remove the tart from the pan and place it onto a large dish. Spread the ricotta filling evenly over the top smoothing the top with a spatula (or back of a spoon). Top it with tomato filling, garnish with basil, oregano, and pine nuts (if preferred). As a last touch, sprinkle with some more salt and freshly cracked pepper.