Homes & Gardens



A stylish tart with an exceptiona­l amaretti biscuit case will steal the show. The ricotta and cream cheese filling, scented with vanilla, is topped with plump figs, making this dessert a delightful finale to a lazy afternoon in the garden.


40 minutes to prepare, 8-10 minutes to cook and 2 hours to chill 140g salted butter, soft

2 tsp plain flour

300g crisp [not soft] amaretti or ratafia biscuits 500g full-fat cream cheese, chilled

350g ricotta cheese, drained and chilled

100g golden caster sugar

1 vanilla pod, split and seeds scraped

2 tbsp amaretti liqueur

1 lemon, finally grated zest

About 16 ripe figs, trimmed and quartered

■■ Start with the biscuit case. This can be made up to 3 days ahead of time and kept in the tin or dish in a sealed container. Preheat the oven to 170°C/gas 3. Use 15g butter to evenly coat a 23cm diameter tart tin or dish, with a removable base if you would like to unmould the tart before serving. Dust the flour over the butter, tapping any excess away. Melt the remaining 125g butter and set aside.

■■ Finely crush the amaretti biscuits with a rolling pin or by careful use of the pulse button in a food processor. They need to be fine, but still slightly rubbly. Transfer to a bowl and thoroughly stir in the melted butter. Press this mixture into the tart tin, being very firm and making sure it’s really pressed in, right up the sides.

■■ Bake, on a baking tray, for 8-10 minutes, until slightly darker in colour. Let cool for 5 minutes then, if turning out later, very gently release the warm case from the tart tin using a small knife at the edges, just to check it isn’t stuck. Let cool (in the tin) completely.

■■ To make the filling, beat the cream cheese, ricotta, sugar, vanilla seeds, amaretti liqueur and lemon zest together in a mixing bowl. Carefully spoon into the tart case and spread out. If possible, chill for 2 hours to make slicing easier. Carefully release the tart from the tin, if doing so, and transfer to a serving plate. Top with the quartered figs in concentric circles, working from the outside in. Serve in slices.

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