Sunday, April 8, 2012

Ricotta and Jam Tart

            I love cooking with ricotta and all other sorts of cottage cheese – especially making desserts! Once I was lucky to find an amazing recipe of ricotta and jam tart which, as the cooking magazine claimed, was authentically Italian – it was even called “Crostata di ricotta e marmellata”. I tried the recipe and instantly realized that I should find a place for it in my cookbook: it was so good that it became obvious that I’m gonna be making it again and again!

            When I told my Italian friend about this tart (should I use the right word here – ‘boasted” about cooking this fantastic dessert?) she was confused. She explained to me that in Italy they put either ricotta or jam in the filling of a pie and never mix them together. I tried to make a point by saying that the tart with both of them is absolutely delicious (which can be confirmed not only by me but by a dozen of readers of that magazine who highly praised the recipe). “I can assume that it might be delicious; but it cannot be called an Italian dish, anyway!” – she concluded.

            Well, what’s in a name? And who cares about authenticity when there’s a piece of a warm pie on a plate, with soft vanilla-scented ricotta, gooey jam and fragrant crumble? Especially when it is served with orange curd that complements the flavour of the jam!

Recipe adapted from the original one from "Good taste" magazine  (


Shortcrust pastry

415 gm flour
75 gm castor sugar
1 tbsp orange rind
1 ½ tsp baing powder
180 gm chilled butter, chopped
1 egg
1 egg yolk
½ tsp vanilla essence


320 gm ricotta
45 gm castor sugar
½ tsp vanilla extract
2 eggs
240 gm jam

1/4 cup chopped nuts (optional)


  1. For shortcrust pastry, combine the flour, sugar, orange rind, baking powder and salt in a large bowl. Use your fingertips to rub the butter into the flour mixture until it resembles fine breadcrumbs. Whisk together the egg, egg yolk and vanilla in a bowl. Add to the flour mixture and use a round-bladed knife in a cutting motion to mix until combined. Bring the dough together in the bowl. Place one-third of it, covered, in the freezer, and the rest of it, shaped into a disc and covered with plastic wrap, in the fridge for 30 minutes.
  2. For filling, place the ricotta in the bowl of a food processor and process until smooth. Transfer to a large bowl. Use a wooden spoon to beat in the sugar and vanilla until combined. Use a balloon whisk to whisk in the eggs, one at a time, until combined.
  3. Preheat the oven to 180C. Take the pastry out of the fridge and roll it out on a lightly floured surface to a 5mm-thick disc. Line a 26 cm tart tin, with removable base, with pastry and trim excess.
  4. Heat the jam in a small saucepan over medium heat for 1-2 minutes or until melted. Set aside for 3 minutes to cool slightly. Pour the filling into the pastry case. Spoon the jam evenly over the surface.
  5. Take the rest of the dough out of the freezer and grate it over the jam. Sprinkle with nuts (if using). Cover the tart loosely with foil and bake for 35 minutes, remove the foil and bake for 20 – 25 minutes more or until golden in colour.


  1. Alternatively, do not place 1/3 of the dough in the freezer; chill it in the fridge, roll out and cut into strips. Arrange the strips in a criss-cross manner on top of the pie.
  2. You may use any jam for this recipe. If you choose an orange one, I would recommend serving the tart with orange curd – the same one as used for the filling in Alaska crepe stack.

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