Strawberry and Ricotta Tarts {crostate di fragole e ricotta}

by cakeduchess on June 5, 2012 · 26 comments

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I adore baking with strawberries. I think I went a little overboard these last few weeks and baked quite a few desserts with strawberries. There were juicy and plump strawberries tempting me wherever I went.  Not that anyone was complaining. 


Strawberries had me creative and baking overtime. I made cakes and pies. Tarts and scones. I haven’t found the time to catch up my blog with all the wonderful recipes. What started my strawberry baking ideas was the June issue of La Cucina Italiana. It has a whole section dedicated to Italian desserts made with fresh strawberries. There is a stunning Trionfo di Fragole, Biscotti alle Fragole, Pudding di Riso with a strawberry sauce and this gorgeous Crostata di Fragole e Ricotta.

I started to get busy baking and the first thing I made was this and it was huge success. The custard like filling made with ricotta and eggs is heavenly as a base for the delicate strawberries. The tart is buttery and delicate. Like most Italian desserts, it’s not overly sweet.

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A perfect summer strawberry tart I will be making over and over again. I chose to make my tart in mini tart pans. You could make it one regular tart pan. I love the idea of everyone getting their own individual dessert (and they’re so adorable!). It is a perfect dessert showcasing the season’s fresh strawberries.

Strawberry and Ricotta Tart {crostata di fragole e ricotta}

source: La Cucina Italiana

Ingredients

Crust:
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour plus more for dusting
3 tablespoons sugar
Pinch fine sea salt
1 stick ( 1/2 cup) unsalted butter, cold, cut into small pieces, plus more for greasing pans

Filling:
1 1/4 cups fresh whole-milk ricotta cheese
4 large egg yolks
1/2 cup sugar 
1/2 teaspoon orange flower water
Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
3/4 pound strawberries, sliced
Confectioners sugar for dusting

 (9 1/2-inch) tart pan with removable bottom

Instructions

Crust directions: In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar and salt. Add butter and rub mixture between fingers until it resembles coarse meal. Make a well in center, add 2 tablespoons water and mix together to form a dough. Knead dough 3 to 4 times, flatten into a disc, wrap in plastic and chill at least 1 hour or overnight.

Butter a 9 1/2-inch tart pan. On a lightly floured work surface, roll out dough to a 12-inch round. Fit dough into tart pan, pressing into edges; chill until firm, about 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat oven to 400º with rack in middle. Line tart pan with parchment paper, leaving at least 1-inch overhang. Fill with pie weights or dried beans. Bake until edges are pale golden, about 10 minutes. Remove parchment and weights; continue to bake until bottom of crust is pale golden and edges are beginning to brown, about 5 minutes more. Cool shell completely on wire rack.

Filling directions: Reduce oven temperature to 350º. In a large bowl, whisk cheese until smooth. Add egg yolks, sugar, orange flower water and lemon zest; whisk together to combine.

Spread filling into cooled tart shell; bake, rotating once halfway through, until just set in center and a cake tester inserted in center of tart comes out clean, about 35 minutes. Transfer pan to a wire rack and let cool completely.

Arrange strawberries in concentric circles atop tart; dust edge of crust with confectioners sugar. Remove tart from pan.

some other beautiful strawberry tarts you should check out:

Creative Culinary’s Strawberry Mascarpone Tart 
Bell’Alimento Strawberry and Ricotta Tart (this is how it looks made as 9 inch tart size)
Ask Chef Dennis Strawberry and Ricotta Tart  (this is another one as 9 inch tart)
Life’s a Feast Strawberry Mascarpone Cream Tart

Buon appetito! Enjoy this fabulous luscious Italian dessert that is a taste of Italy.

{ 26 comments… read them below or add one }

Swathi Iyer June 5, 2012 at 4:16 pm

Delicious corstate that too with strawberry awesome

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Laura (Tutti Dolci) June 5, 2012 at 4:45 pm

I love strawberries too, what perfect little tarts!

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Denise @ Creative Kitchen June 5, 2012 at 4:50 pm

Lora,

These look incredible!! I’ve been on the hunt for mini tart pans….any ideas for me?

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Cake Duchess June 5, 2012 at 5:08 pm

Thanks, Denise:) I found mine at Walmart:)

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Kiri W. June 5, 2012 at 7:33 pm

Oh wow, these look absolutely to die for :) Sweet ricotta will forever be one of my favorite things!
(Also sorry for the long silence, I was busy with commencement/traveling.)

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Jennifer June 5, 2012 at 7:34 pm

These are so lovely and cute. I also love the idea of individual desserts, and these little tarts look like a great way to finish off a meal, or start a meal, or eat as a snack, or…

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Paula June 5, 2012 at 9:23 pm

The ricotta cheese must make these taste amazing with the strawberries. Our local strawberry farm has started putting up their roadside stalls so fresh berries will soon be available to us. Hooray!!!

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Happy When Not Hungry June 6, 2012 at 12:47 am

These tarts look beautiful and that filling sounds amazing!

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Kim Bee June 6, 2012 at 2:32 am

Lora you saved me one right? Right? *sigh*

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Cookin' Canuck June 6, 2012 at 4:49 am

Seriously, I think you are the tart-making queen. These are so pretty, Lora!

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Angie's Recipes June 6, 2012 at 7:48 am

These crostate are so pretty!

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Carolyn June 6, 2012 at 11:31 am

Aren’t you in Italy now??? Regardless, these are just lovely and I buzzed them.

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Peggy G. June 6, 2012 at 12:32 pm

These tarts look absolutely beautiful! If I wanted to overload on anything, it would definitely be strawberries =)

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Karriann June 6, 2012 at 2:19 pm

These are the prettiest tarts I’ve ever seen!

“Happy Cooking”

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Magic of Spice June 6, 2012 at 4:03 pm

These ate just gorgeous Lora…gorgeous!

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Deb June 6, 2012 at 6:07 pm

A most magical post! The seasonal berries are splendid and seem to float above the luscious tarts!

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Jen @ Savory Simple June 6, 2012 at 7:00 pm

What an absolutely beautiful tart!

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Marnely Rodriguez-Murray June 6, 2012 at 8:52 pm

If you ever need anyone to take any strawberry desserts off your hands, you know my address ;) They look fabulous Lora!

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A Thought For Food June 6, 2012 at 11:14 pm

So, I’m coming over for dessert, right? I’ll be right over!

These tarts look fabulous! What a magical pairing… strawberries and ricotta.

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Shulie June 6, 2012 at 11:15 pm

Insanely delicious looking ricotta strawberries tarts. This sort of cream is exactly what I like as dessert! Great use of in season strawberries!

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Lisa June 6, 2012 at 11:21 pm

I love the beautiful bounty of summer berries – I’m the same with easpberries and blackberries as you are with strawberries, although I love strawberries too. I These tarts are gorgeous, Lora. I would really love to try the Pudding di Riso with a strawberry sauce too!

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vanillasugarblog June 7, 2012 at 11:57 pm

for a years now, every summer with the fresh arrival of strawberries i always say i’m going to make a tart with ricotta, and still i have not. sad right?
i mean i’ve made everything with strawberries BUT a ricotta tart and yet they pair so well

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Toni @ Boulder Locavore June 8, 2012 at 2:51 am

These are enchanting Lora! Love the flavor combo and they look magical. I just went berry picking for the last of our June season so have 3 quarts to figure out something for quickly. May give this a whirl! Hope you are well!

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Maureen @ Orgasmic Chef June 8, 2012 at 1:18 pm

Lora, these are incredible! It’s just now strawberry picking season in northern Australia where we live and I can’t wait to try these tarts. I hope mine are half as pretty.

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Lyndsey June 8, 2012 at 8:27 pm

This looks amazing! I wish I could bake, mine would not look like that! It is nice to meet you, visiting from your mom”s blog!

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kita June 11, 2012 at 1:34 am

These are stunning. I am learning to like strawberries (we never had them growing up) but how could I not love them with these beautiful little tarts. I totally dig the mini tart pans too, I think its cute to give everyone their own.

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