This sheep’s milk ricotta tart is lightly sweet with a great tang. It’s rich tasting and the pine nuts add a gentle crunch that improves both the texture and the flavor.
The Thomas Keller recipe for pine nut tart crust makes enough for 3 tarts. As it uses only one egg you need to make the whole recipe to get it just right, but it freezes well up to one month, so don’t worry about waste.
- 2½ cup pine nuts, lightly toasted
- ⅓ cup sugar
- 3 cup all-purpose flour
- 3 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest
- ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
- 350 gram sheep’s milk ricotta
- 50 gram granulated sugar
- 1 pint fresh strawberries, washed and halved (optional)
Place 2 cups of the pine nuts in a food processor and pulse a few times. Add the sugar and flour and continue to pulse until the nuts are finely ground. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl.
Add the butter, 1 egg, and vanilla extract and mix to incorporate all the ingredients (the dough can be mixed by hand or in a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment). Divide the dough into three equal parts. Wrap each piece in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 10 minutes before using.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Generously butter and flour a 4 x 13-inch rectangular or 9‑inch round fluted tart pan with a removable bottom and refrigerate it while the oven preheats.
Remove the tart pan from the refrigerator. Use your fingertips to press the chilled pine nut dough evenly over the bottom and up the sides of the pan. Trim off any excess dough.
Bake the crust for 10 to 15 minutes, then rotate it and bake for another 10 to 15 minutes, or until it is golden brown. Remove the crust from the oven and let it cool while you make the filling. (There may be some cracks in the crust; they will not affect the finished tart.)
Add the 2 remaining eggs, ricotta, sugar, lemon zest and juice to a medium-sized bowl and mix until fluffy and well combined. Add ¼ of the pine nuts and stir to incorporate. Pour the mixture into the slightly cooled pastry shell. Top the pastry with the remaining pine nuts, pressing down on them gently to assure that they adhere.
Bake the tart in the middle of the oven for 20 minutes, until the filling is lightly set. cool, remove from the tin and serve with fresh strawberries (optional).