Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Gluten-Free Pear and Ricotta Cheesecake Tart with Almond Crust

This cheesecake tart combines sweet, ripe pears with delicate ricotta cheese over a buttery almond crust. 
Perfectly sweet. Intensely nutty. 

Is this a cheesecake? Or is it a tart? Call it as you like, this gluten-free dessert is simply delicious!
I made a similar recipe before for Valentine's day, do you remember? Heart shaped mini cakes with pears and ricotta cheese. I have been waiting for the chance to bake this dessert again. This time though, I made one whole cake. Sometimes it's nice to control portions by cooking cup size desserts. Other times, it's fun to bake big pies, and eat a whole, extra large slice. Without feeling any guilt ...yes! I did :-)
This cheesecake tart is gluten-free. It has a buttery crust made with almond flour. And there are no other ingredients containing wheat in the recipe. The filling is made only with ricotta (no cream cheese) infused with the nutty flavor of almond extract. On top, there are soft pear slices for a beautiful and fresh way to complete the tart.
Here is my video and step-by-step, simple recipe. Enjoy!

Ingredients: to make 11 inches pie
for the crust:
  • 8 tablespoons (one stick, 110 gr ) of unsalted butter 
  • 2 cups (200 gr) of almond meal
  • 1/2 cup (100 gr) of sugar 
  • pinch of salt
for the filling:
  • 16 oz (450 gr) of ricotta cheese (whole milk)
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) of milk
  • 2/3 cup (130 gr) sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon of almond extract
  • 2 tablespoons (20 gr) corn starch
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 1 can (15 oz) of pear halves (in natural pear juice, no sugar added), or 2 fresh, ripe pears
Preparation time: about 90 minutes
1. Preheat the oven to 350° F (175° C). Grease an 11 inch tart pan with the butter.

2. Melt the butter in the microwave for about 30 seconds (or on the stove in a double boiler). In a large bowl, combine the almond meal, the melted butter, sugar and salt. Mix well with a spoon.

3. Pour the mixture on the tart pan, and press it down using a spoon. Bake for 15 minutes.

4. In the meantime, prepare the filling: Combine all the ingredients (ricotta, eggs, milk, sugar, almond extract, corn starch and salt) in a bowl, and blend well.

5. Pour the filling on the tart crust.

6. Cut the pears in thin slices and decorate the top of the tart as shown in my picture.

7. Bake for 45 minutes or until the edges are golden and the middle is set. Wait for the tart to cool off, and refrigerate for at least an hour before removing from the pan, and serve.