Ricotta, almond and chocolate tarts with poached pears

AT A GLANCE

  • Serves 18 people

  • 1.5 kg firm ricotta
  • 300 gm raw caster sugar
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 200 gm almond meal
  • Finely grated rind of 1 lemon
  • For dusting: pure icing sugar
  •  
  • Pastry
  • 555 gm plain flour
  • 170 gm caster sugar
  • 380 gm cold butter, diced
  • 3 egg yolks
  •  
  • White wine-poached pears
  • 8 honey or corella pears, peeled, halved
  • 750 ml pinot grigio, or other Italian white wine
  • 500 gm caster sugar
  • 2 cinnamon quills
  • 4 thyme sprigs
  • Juice and thinly peeled rind of 1 lemon
  •  
  • Bitter chocolate sauce
  • 200 gm bitter chocolate (70% cocoa solids), finely chopped
  • 200 ml pouring cream
  • 200 gm softened butter
01   For pastry, pulse flour, sugar and butter in a food processor until fine crumbs form, then add yolks, 1 tbsp chilled water and a pinch of salt and process until mixture just comes together. Turn onto a work surface and knead until smooth, then roll three-quarters of pastry between two sheets of baking paper into a 28cm x 30cm rectangle. Transfer to a 30cm x 32cm x 1cm baking tray lined with baking paper and refrigerate to rest for 1 hour. Meanwhile, roll remaining pastry between two sheets of baking paper into a 3mm-thick rectangle. Remove top layer of paper and refrigerate until pastry is firm (10-15 minutes).
02   Preheat oven to 190C. Whisk ricotta, sugar and eggs in a large bowl until smooth, then fold in almond meal and lemon rind. Spoon ricotta mixture into pastry base and smooth top. Cut chilled pastry into long 5mm-wide strips and arrange in a lattice pattern on top of ricotta mixture. Bake until base is cooked, tart is golden and filling is set (40-50 minutes). Cool to room temperature.
03   Meanwhile, for white wine-poached pears, combine ingredients in a wide shallow saucepan, bring to the simmer over medium heat, cover closely with a piece of baking paper and a lid, reduce heat to low and cook until pears are tender (10-20 minutes). Set aside to cool in poaching liquid.
04   For bitter chocolate sauce, combine chocolate, cream and butter in a heatproof bowl placed over simmering water and stir occasionally until melted and glossy (3-5 minutes), then gradually add 150ml boiling water, stirring until smooth and glossy.
05   Dust tart with icing sugar, cut into squares, drizzle with warm bitter chocolate sauce and serve with white wine-poached pears.

Topics:

DRINK SUGGESTION, WHITE WINE, RICOTTA, CINNAMON, BAKING, SPRING, CHOCOLATE, MODERN AUSTRALIAN, ALMONDS, DESSERT, PASTRY, THYME, PEARS

Recipe:

LISA FEATHERBY

Photography:

BEN DEARNLEY

Styling:

LISA FEATHERBY , LYNSEY FRYERS-HEDRICK

Drinking Suggestion:

ITALIAN-STYLE PASSITO (DRIED GRAPE) SWEETIE. , suggested by MAX ALLEN

FEATURED IN

Nov 2011

Nov 2011

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