Have you ever tasted something that haunted your memories? The combination of flavors, textures and ingredients combine to make something so intoxicating you think about it years after the first bite passed over your lips? That has happened to me very rarely – it would have to be an exception to the norm to make such an impression. That is what this recipe did to me more than five years ago the first time I made it. I don’t usually enjoy fruit based desserts. I LOVE fruit but I think fruit is great on its own so for the basis of a dessert, I prefer something rich like caramel or chocolate.
I made this Strawberry Tart for the first time as part of a Roman Cooking Class. Everyone in the class was scared of baking so I volunteered (this was 5+ years ago, pre-Celiac). It was the first time that I realized that many people found baking intimidating; that seemed so foreign to me since that was all my family did (my Mom hates to cook but loves to bake). While the jam takes time to cook down, the actually hands-on time for the tart isn’t as long as you would think. I made this for a dessert party I hosted last weekend. The jam cooked down while I was busy doing a plethora of other things.
While I may be biased about the extreme level of deliciousness, my friend Jennie, my yoga and food-conspirator agreed. She took two slices home with her from my party, ate them both for breakfast the next day and declared that it “changed her life” (apparently we also share a penchant for hyperbole).
Give the recipe a try and let me know what you think. I’ve never made any sort of homemade jam or jelly before but this recipe is worth every bit of effort and time involved I promise.
Strawberry Poppy Seed Tart with Ricotta Mascarpone Filling
Torta marmellata con ricotta (adapted from Classic Dishes of Rome at ICE Culinary)
for the crust:
1 cup gluten-free flour mix (xanthan or guar gum should already be part of the mix)
1/2 cup blanched almonds, toasted
3 tablespoons sugar
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, cubed
1 extra large egg
1 tablespoon poppy seeds
for the jam:
3 pints strawberries, hulled & quartered
2 cups Italian red wine, barbera or valpolicella (I used a Syrah/Merlot blend this time and it was great)
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
1 stick cinnamon
3 bay leaves
for the filling:
1 cup whole milk ricotta
1/4 cup sugar
seeds from 1 vanilla bean
1/2 cup mascarpone
Prepare the jam. Wrap bay leaves, cinnamon and peppercorns in cheesecloth. Place the wine, sugar and cheesecloth pack in a saucepan. Simmer the liquid until slightly thickened. Make sure you stir the sugar to dissolve it.
Place the strawberries in the saucepan and continue to simmer over low heat until the mixture is thickened. Place a small spoonful on a plate. If it thickens upon cooling it is ready. Let cool. (will take approx 2 hours depending on pan size)
In the bowl of a food processor, grind the almonds finely. Add the flour and sugar and process to combine. Add the butter and process until very fine. Add the eggs and process with quick on/off turns until the bowl forms a ball.
Remove the dough and flatten it into a disc. Using your hands, press the dough into the tart pan pushing it out and up the sides. Refrigerate the dough until firm about 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, mix the ricotta, sugar and mascarpone in a bowl. Scrape the vanilla bean seeds into the cheese mixture and stir to combine.
When the tart dough is firm, bake in a 375 degree oven for 25-30 minutes until the dough is golden brown and cooked through. It will have the texture of a crisp cookie.
Remove the tart from the oven and cool.
Smooth filling into the tart and gently spoon jam on top. Serve immediately.
While I am not sure which of my recent recipes will haunt me in the same way – the Flourless Chocolate Lust Cake seems like a good candidate, and I am just waiting for the fresh figs to arrive this summer so I can make more of these prosciutto and goat cheese creations.Tweet Pin It
Is there a restaurant or bakery you want me to check-out? A product you want me to review? Any other questions or feedback?
glutenguide at gmail [dot] com