The ricotta tart, or tarte au fromage, that is the base of this recipe comes from Suzanne Goin’s Sunday Suppers at Lucques. For summertime, I added a Provençal twist with figs and a subtle lavender whipped cream. This tart makes for a great presentation, and it’s an easy one for non-bakers with the use of frozen puff pastry.
Ricotta and Fig Tart, Serves 6
1 sheet frozen puff pastry, 9”x9” inches
1 pint of fresh figs, sliced in half
2 tsps chopped mint
1 tsp lemon zest
½ cup plus 2 tbsp granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 large egg yolk
¼ cup heavy cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
¼ tsp kosher salt
1 lb fresh whole milk ricotta cheese
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Defrost the puff pastry until it can be unfolded. Lay on top of a parchment paper lined baking tray, and score a ½ “ border around the edge. Brush the border with water, and sprinkle with 1 tbsp of granulated sugar. Place the puff pastry back in the freezer for about 30 minutes, and then bake in the oven for 30 minutes, until golden brown and puffed. Remove the pastry to cool, and turn the oven down to 325 degrees.
Mix together the figs, 1 tbsp of sugar, lemon zest, and mint, and reserve.
Whisk together ½ a cup of sugar, the eggs, egg yolk, cream, vanilla, and salt. Incorporate the ricotta cheese.
Remove the top layer of puff pastry inside the border and push the pastry down. This should give you some space to pour in the ricotta mixture. Pour in the ricotta mixture until it almost comes to the edge. Arrange the figs on top, and bake in the oven for 30-40 minutes, until the ricotta mixture is just set and starting to brown. Rest for at least 30 minutes before serving. Serve with a dollop of lavender cream.
1 cup heavy cream
2 tsps dried lavender buds
Confectioner’s sugar, to taste
Bring the heavy cream and lavender buds to a simmer in a small saucepan. Turn off the heat, cover, and let it steep for about 30 minutes. Filter the lavender out of the cream through a fine mesh sieve, then store in the refrigerator until chilled. Whip the cream to hard peaks, and mix in confectioner’s sugar to taste.