Friday 7 August 2015

Pistachio-cream and sweetened ricotta tart

45 minutes to prepare Serves 12



What about travelling with your taste buds?

Pick a key ingredient with strong, distinctive flavor, choose a suitable ambiance music, close your eyes and you can find yourself flying around the globe to your destination of choice. 
For our first stop, we go to a small hilltop town near Mount Etna named Bronte which is known for its pistachios. Purple-skinned, vibrantly green, full flavored pistachios. Almost any serious ice-cream shop in Italy uses them – look for pistacchi di Bronte.

Whenever I get to Sicily, I try to bring back a jar of the local pistachio cream. Unfortunately, you can’t go and buy one whenever you have a craving for it (especially if you are used to empty your jar in a few hours since you've come back…oops), but you can easily recreate this nut-lover sweet dream at home.
This pistachio cream is tasting simply of ground pistachios. The consistency is dense and smooth. It can be spread inside crêpes, served on top of ice-cream, topped on toasted bread at breakfast or simply eaten with no shame with a spoon.

Today we will use it as filling of a sublime pistachio-cream tart recipe. To give the proper homage to this delicious cream, just ricotta cheese is going to be used as complement ingredient. I love sheep milk ricotta and pistachios together, it’s such a bright blend of flavors. Well, actually I love pistachios in just about any way, but that’s beside the point. Give it a try, this tart is delicious!

Here are ingredients for a 12-serving recipe (24-cm diameter baking pan):


For the pastry

250 g flour 00
135 g sugar
85 g butter
1 egg
1/2 sachet vanilla baking powder

For the stuffing

400 g  sheep milk ricotta cheese
100 g sugar
60 g chopped pistachios
300 g milk
2 egg yolks
30 g potato starch

For the garnish

1 fistful  pistachios

  1. Place chopped pistachios in a medium saucepan. Add the milk and bring almost to a boil. Remove from the heat and let the pistachio-flavored milk to cool down for 30 minutes
  2. Start preparing the pastry: cut the butter into cubes and place it in a bowl. Add flour and vanilla baking powder, both sifted. Add sugar, too, and knead it quickly
  3. Stir in the egg, then add a pinch of salt
  4. Form a ball, wrap it with plastic wrap and let it rest in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes
  5. Drain ricotta cheese in a colander and store it in the refrigerator. When it is dry, sift it and mix it in a bowl with 50 g of sugar
  6. After 30 minutes since pistachio-flavored milk started to cool down, start preparing the pistachio cream: whisk the egg yolks and the rest of the sugar with an electric beater until you get a light and fluffy mixture. Add the starch and whisk again
  7. Add the pistachio-flavored milk to the mixture and stir vigorously to prevent lumps from forming. Pour the mixture in the same saucepan used to heat milk, and cook over medium heat until you get the desired density. Let it cool
  8. Preheat oven to 180°C
  9. Grease and flour the baking pan, then cover bottom and sides with the pastry cut into a flattened disc-shape, about 5 mm thick
  10. Pour one layer of pistachio cream into the pan, cover it with one layer of ricotta cream
  11. Take the remaining pastry and roll it out thin and even. Then, cut it into 2-cm pieces using your do not need to be precise in doing this, it's mostly to have fun! 
  12. Once you have obtained your pastry-made mosaico pieces, lay them down on the cream trying to cover the whole tart surface. Fill the holes with pistachios kept aside from the beginning
  13. Bake at 180°C for about 45 minutes
  14. Once cooked, pull out the tart from the oven and let it cool. When cold, flip it over on a serving dish and enjoy!!!

Nutrition Facts are detailed in the table below. Data is provided per serving.

Bronte: Charlotte, Anne, Emily...and Pistachio?

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