Friday, March 28, 2014

Ricotta Tart with Raisins

Happy Friday everyone!
I hope your weekend is off to a great beginning. Mine started at the dealership to have my car serviced ... not so much fun! I find it as dreadful as going to the dentist. I never know what could be wrong and it's generally expensive to fix it.
A question for you: how long do you wait before scheduling a service appointment once you first see the awful "maintenance required" light on?
I generally ignore it when it's just blinking. There can't be anything that needs immediate attention if the light turns off by itself, right? Since a week ago (or maybe two...) the light has been on. Persistently on. So this morning I had no choice.
Now I am sitting here waiting for my car and thinking about, first of all: how quickly I can leave and how much this is going to cost me (hopefully it's only an oil change). Second of all and more importantly: how I can make my Friday a little better. I don't yet know the answer to the first question, but I know the solution to the second: baking! 
There is nothing as therapeutic as making a delicious cake and then eat it. The best way to start my week-end is with this delightfully sweet ricotta tart with raisins.

The creamy and delicate taste of ricotta is a perfect match for the fruity, sweet flavor of the raisins.
This cake, with its crumbly crust, moist filling and citrusy aroma will be the perfect remedy for my day!
As most of my recipes, this tart is very easy to make. No need for a rolling pin. Just blend all the ingredients for the crust, following the directions, and mold it directly in the baking pan with your hands. Mix the filling, pour it in the crust and bake. Yes, it's this easy!
Here is the recipe for you:

Ingredients to make an 11 inch tart:

For the crust:
2 egg yolks
3/4 cup of sugar
1 1/2 sticks of butter softened (or I Can't Believe It's Not Butter)
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
2 tablespoons of milk
1/2 lemon, finely grated zest
1/4 teaspoon of salt
2 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour

For the filling:
2 eggs
3/4 cup of sugar
1/4 teaspoon of vanilla extract
1 orange, grated zest
8 oz whole-milk ricotta
1/2 cup of raisins, soaked in warm water for about 10 minutes to make the raisins softer

Preparation time: about one hour: 15 minutes to assemble, 45 minutes to cook.

Step 1: In a large bowl combine 2 egg yolks, sugar, vanilla extract, milk, lemon zest and salt. Mix well with a blender or a food processor until smooth and fluffy.

Step 2: Add the butter, and mix well again. Add the flour, one cup at the time and blend until the dough comes together.

Step 3: Transfer the mixture to an 11 inch tart pan, greased with butter and flour. I like those baking pan with a removable bottom, which makes it a lot easier to remove the tart from the pan without breaking it.
Sprinkle the dough with flour, and press it down with the palm of your hand, working around to make it as flat as possible. Pay attention to the edges and remove the extra dough. Prick the bottom with a fork, just like in my picture!

Step 4: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, and let's start working on the filling!
In a bowl mix well the eggs, sugar, vanilla and orange zest with a blender at high speed until nicely smooth.

Step 5: Blend in the ricotta, and mix in the raisins, well drained! Finally, pour the mixture in the pie crust.
Step 6: Bake for about 45 minutes, until brown around the edges and golden on top.
Let cool down and decorate by sprinkling the tart with powder sugar.

And here it is! You won't be disappointed.
As usual, please leave comments below!

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