Strawberry and Ricotta Tarts

banner

We rarely make these tarts at the Bakery due to their extremely short shelf-life. Although we assemble tarts three or four times daily, we realised this one was best eaten within 2 hours of being assembled, which is a shame, as it is so simple and perfect. The ricotta for this recipe needs to be quite dry. If the ricotta you have is soft and wet, leave it to drain overnight in the refrigerator in a sieve lined with a clean tea towel (dish towel). Figs also work particularly well in these tarts during the autumn months when they are available perfectly ripe. The ricotta filling can also be dolloped onto a plate with fresh fruit for a simple but fresh summer dessert.

Ingredients

  • 1 quantity sweet shortcrust pastry
  • 1 kg (2 lb 4 oz oz/4 cups) ricotta cheese
  • 100 g ( oz) icing (confectioners’) sugar, sifted
  • 1 vanilla bean, split lengthways
  • 1 kg (2 lb 4 oz) strawberries, rinsed, hulled and quartered

Method

Follow the instructions to roll out the pastry and use it to line twenty 8 cm ( inch) round fluted loose-based tart tins. Set the pastry cases in the freezer for at least 20 minutes.

Blind bake the tart cases in a preheated 200°C (400°F/Gas 6) oven for 20-25 minutes, or until golden. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.

To make the filling, put the ricotta in a food processor with the icing sugar and scrape in the vanilla seeds, discarding the bean. Process until smooth and well combined.

Pipe about 2 tablespoons of the ricotta filling into each tart shell until full to the brim. Arrange the strawberries on top and serve immediately.