Sunday, 1 September 2013

Peach and spiced ricotta tart





I think this tart looks a lot more complicated, and a lot more work than it actually is.  The roasted, lightly caramelised peaches sitting on a pillow of gently spiced ricotta work so well with the sweet, buttery vanilla pastry.  But honestly – if you can line a pastry case, the rest is plain sailing.




You’re probably meant to use fresh peaches or nectarines for this recipe but if you’ve followed my blog for any length of time you will know just how much I love tinned peaches.  How tinning a peach makes it better (both flavour and texture) I do not know...but it does.  So I used tinned peaches.  Using tinned peaches at the height of soft fruit season...I must be a contrarian baker!




When I trimmed the pastry I, of course, tasted the off cuts and was surprised how sweet it was.  It made sense when I tasted the ricotta filling which is not that sweet at all.  It’s all about balance.




I’m not sure roasting the tinned peaches was strictly necessary but I did it anyway and they did look and feel softer afterwards but they didn’t caramelise as much as I’d hoped.




This is the sort of tart you’d see in a lovely deli shop window; it’s not fine or delicate patisserie but it looks inviting and wholesome.  I was particularly proud of this one.  And I really need to reiterate – it’s easy to make!



Ingredients

For the pastry:
115g unsalted butter, at room temperature
75g caster sugar
1 egg yolk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
185g plain flour

For the peaches:
3-4 peaches or nectarines, peeled and cut into half – stone removed.  I used tinned peaches...because I love them!  My peaches were small so I used 4
1 tablespoon brown sugar
20ml water

For the ricotta filling:
450g ricotta
40g caster sugar
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground ginger
1 egg
1 tablespoon brown sugar, for sprinkling on top


Method

Make the pastry – this is an unusual method but results in a rich, buttery pastry easier to work with than you might imagine: beat together the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy.

Add the egg yolk, vanilla and salt and beat until combined.

Add the flour and mix until the pastry just starts to clump.

Tip out onto a sheet of clingfilm and bring together into a ball.

Flatten into a fat disc and wrap in clingfilm.

Refrigerate for one hour.

Roll the pastry out between two sheets of clingfilm until it is 3-5mm thick.

Line a 23cm loose bottomed flan tin with the pastry.

Refrigerate for a further 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 180°C/fan oven 160°C/350°F/gas mark 4.

Cover the pastry with a sheet of baking paper or non stick foil and hold in place with baking beans.

Bake for 15 minutes, before removing the paper and beans and baking for a further 5 minutes until golden.

Leave to cool before trimming any overhanging pastry away.

Now roast the peaches: place the halves in a roasting tin.

Sprinkle the sugar over the peaches and pour the water into the bottom of the tin.

Roast for approximately 12 minutes or until they are soft and golden.

Leave to cool before cutting into wedges.

Now make the ricotta filling: beat together all the ingredients until well combined.

Spoon into the pastry case and arrange the peaches on top.

Sprinkle over the brown sugar.

Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the ricotta is golden and firm to the touch.  Mine took longer – nearer 40 minutes.

Remove from the oven and leave to cool for five minutes before removing from the tin.

Serve either warm, from the oven, or leave to cool completely.

Bask in the glory of the wonderful thing you have created.


Eat.

12 comments:

Ulla said...

Thanks for the recipe! I will try this one. I agree with you that tinned peaches are better. So I'll use them too.

Baking Addict said...

Oooh yum! I love the simplicity of it.

Cher My Cakes said...

Looks delicious, I love the colour of the preaches

Kezia said...

This looks delicious, and it's full of my favourite flavours - what's not to love? The peaches are a beautiful colour too.

Gloria Baker said...

look really, really delicious I love peaches:)

Cakelaw said...

This looks amazing! The perfect summer dessert.

LandGirl1980 said...

YUM!!

Izzy said...

I love tinned peaches! I have eaten so many fresh ones and been disappointed with taste or texture but a tinned one never lets me down. : P
The colour peach adds to the tart is lovely against the white. As for it not being something you would find in a patisserie window, I think I'd prefer a slice like that than something tiny!

Katie said...

Looks delicious. I love the light freshness of ricotta. I agree also that tinned peaches are yummy and great switch for fresh. Probably tastier too as the ones we have here are often like rocks.
Could see this in a deli window

Maggie said...

I don't use ricotta very often, for reasons unknown even to me! Tinned peaches have always been popular in my house. I agree the tart would look great in any deli window.

Jacqueline Meldrum said...

Maybe more brown sugar next time. I think it looks wonderful as it is.

Stuart Vettese said...

I like the thought of the spiced ricotta - could be used in many more dishes - delish!!