The Daily Telegraph - Saturday - The Telegraph Magazine
RICOTTA AND HONEY TART
Prep time: 30 minutes, plus chilling and resting time
Cook time: 30 minutes
Ricotta can be used in so many savoury and sweet dishes but I love using it in desserts. It’s less rich than cream and it’s a byproduct of the cheesemaking process, so wins on all counts. I don’t know why more British cheesemakers don’t make it – of those that do, Westcombe Dairy’s is my favourite. I’ve topped my tart here with a slice of honeycomb as I had some in my fridge, but it’s not essential.
INGREDIENTS For the pastry
– 125g unsalted butter, softened
– 140g caster sugar
– 2 medium eggs, beaten
– 250g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
For the filling
– 1 egg, beaten
– 300g ricotta
– 275g mascarpone or cream cheese
– 60ml clear honey, plus a little extra to serve
First make the pastry. In an electric mixer or large bowl, cream the butter and sugar together until smooth. Slowly add the beaten eggs, scraping the sides of the bowl every so often if you’re using a mixer, until it is well combined. If the egg doesn’t seem to be mixing in well just add a tablespoon of flour and continue mixing until it is smooth. Slowly fold in the flour to create a smooth dough. Shape the dough into a flat disc, wrap it and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.
Roll the pastry out on a floured surface to a about ½cm thick. Use it to line a loose-bottomed rectangular tart tin
35 x 11cm and 3cm deep, or a 20cm round tin of the same depth (to help lift the pastry, roll it around the rolling pin then lay it in the tin). Push the pastry into the corners and trim any overhang. This pastry is quite delicate but is forgiving if it starts breaking up on you: patch up any holes with the excess pastry and mould it back together with your fingers.
Neaten up the edges of the pastry by pinching with your thumb and forefinger all the way around, then leave to rest for one hour in the fridge.
Preheat the oven to 175C/155C fan/gas mark 3½.
Line the pastry with greaseproof paper, fill with baking beans and bake for 10 minutes. Remove the beans and paper then brush the pastry with some of the beaten egg for the filling and return to the oven for 5 minutes. This firms up the pastry a bit so it doesn’t crumble when cutting.
Remove the tin from the oven and turn the oven up to 200C/180C fan/gas mark 6.
Mix the ricotta, mascarpone, the remaining egg and the honey together and use this to fill the tart case. Bake for about 10-15 minutes until the top just starts to colour.
Leave to rest for an hour or so before carefully turning out. Pour over a little more honey to serve, and top with a piece of honeycomb if you have it.