Rustic Tomato-Ricotta Tart/Pie – a light, tender, buttery pie with a creamy filling of ricotta and fresh seasonal tomatoes!
Step 1: INGREDIENTS NEEDED:
FOR THE CRUST:
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
¾ cup butter, unsalted (cut into small pieces)
½ tsp salt
½ tsp basil leaves, dried
½ tsp pizza seasoning/Italian seasoning
FOR THE RICOTTA FILLING:
1 ½ cups ricotta cheese
¼ cup grated/powdered Parmesan cheese
½ cup grated mozzarella cheese
Handful of finely chopped cilantro/coriander leaves
2 to 3 medium sized tomatoes, thinly sliced
Pinch of salt
2 to 3 tablespoons Dijon mustard/Horseradish mustard
Finely chopped cilantro/coriander leaves and dried basil leaves for garnishing
Step 2: TO MAKE THE DOUGH:
In a large mixing bowl, add flour, chilled cubed butter, basil leaves, pizza seasoning and salt.
Mix with your fingers until the mixture forms coarse pea sized crumbs. You can do this in a food processor too (much faster) by pulsing the flour, spices, salt and cold butter or use a pastry cutter.
Add 2 to 3 teaspoons of chilled water and make a dough that comes together which is not sticky and that you can gather to form a ball. Do not handle the dough too much.
Cover in plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for about 20 to 30 minutes.
Step 5: PREPARE THE TART/PIE PAN:
Grease the bottom and sides of a loose-bottomed 9-inch pie/tart pan with butter.
Line the bottom with parchment paper and grease again. Keep aside.
Step 6: REPARE THE RICOTTA-TOMATO FILLING:
While the pastry dough is chilling, slice tomatoes into thin slices.
Place them in a single layer on paper towel lined plate. Sprinkle some salt over the tomato slices and then place another paper towel over the slices. Press slightly. This ensures that the paper absorbs extra moisture from the tomato and helps in keeping the bottom of the tart from turning soggy!
Keep this aside until the tart base is ready.
Mix ricotta cheese, Parmesan cheese, grated mozzarella, salt, black pepper powder and finely chopped coriander leaves in a small bowl. Set aside in the fridge.
Step 9: TO PREPARE THE TART BASE:
Remove the chilled dough and on a floured surface, roll into a disc that is slightly larger than the bottom of the pie/tart pan.
Using rolling pin, gently lift the rolled dough and place on the pan.
Press along the edges of the pan to fit the dough to the bottom of the pan.
Crimp the sides to fit the pan. You need not be too perfect; a rustic look makes this tart look more gorgeous!!
Set in freezer for about 15 minutes until the oven is preheating.
Step 11: TO BAKE THE PIE:
Preheat oven to 425 F or 220 C.
Remove pie base from freezer, layer some dried beans over the base of the pie pan (you can use parchment paper if you want).
Bake in hot oven for 15 minutes until the edges are light brown.
Remove the dried beans and return to oven for 7 more minutes to set the bottom of the crust; this ensures a crispy crust base! Cool the pie/tart crust completely.
Step 12: BAKING THE RICOTTA-TOMATO TART/PIE:
Once the pie crust is cool, preheat oven to 375 F/190 C.
Spread a thin layer of mustard sauce over the bottom of the crust. This seals the crust and avoids any soggy bottom!
Spoon the ricotta filling over this and spread evenly.
Place the tomato slices (as many as you want) over the filling.
You can either place in a single layer like I have or arrange them all over the filling in an overlapped fashion.
Place in hot oven and bake tomato tart/pie for 40 to 45 minutes until the top is light golden and the filling has set completely.
Remove and let cool completely. Garnish with finely chopped cilantro/basil leaves and enjoy!
Slice and serve either at room temperature or you can warm the slices in a microwave oven for about 5 to 10 seconds, not more than that!
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