I've figured lots of things out over the last 5 weeks or so. I've figured out that my Stung Guy really is my best friend and having him living 2,000 miles away is not something I like. I've figured out that the whole time he and I have lived together, my cat has been secretly wishing he were two feet shorter so she can sleep where his feet go. I've figured out he eats a LOT of cereal. I've figured out that if it's my weekend I have to have something planned with real people at least one of the days, because if I spend two days my myself in my apartment I will go more than a little nuts. My cat does not approve of me trying to hold conversations with her. She'd rather be sleeping in her nearly acquired spot at the foot of the bed.
One of the good things about being by myself is that I can spend an entire uninterrupted day in my kitchen, which is what I did on Tuesday. Since I'm in this big pantry busting phase, one of the rules I've made myself is that if I'm looking to make a recipe, I can only need to purchase 1 ingredient in 5. Since I had a dinner date the next day, I decided that I could work on a recipe for these tarts. I had seen the blueberry and lemon ricotta combination over at The Pastry Studio and loved the combination. I made mini versions for my birthday and wanted to make bigger ones to take over to Rene and Moray's house.
If you haven't discovered the wonders of cream cheese pastry yet, let me enlighten you. Cream cheese pastry is incredibly simple to make and it comes out very flaky and fluffy, not too heavy at all. It's a nice alternative to standard pie pastry because it doesn't come out as dense, and if you are making little tarts with it in a muffin pan, you can make it really thin and it will still hold up the filling. These tarts are really yummy, and leftovers are pretty great for breakfast the next day with a mug of coffee.
Blueberry, Lemon and Ricotta Tarts
You can use frozen blueberries here if need be, though fresh is always better. I like to reserve a few to bake on top of the tarts. This recipe makes extra pastry, which I like to just stick in the freezer so I can pull it out and whip up a couple of small desserts or tarts at a later date with little effort.
For the Pastry
1 Cup Flour
4oz Cream Cheese
1/2 Cup Butter
1/4 Teaspoon Salt
For the Blueberry Filling
3 Tablespoons Sugar
1/4 Cup Water
1 Teaspoon Lemon Juice
1/4 Teaspoon Cinnamon
For the Lemon Ricotta Filling
2 Tablespoons Sugar
1 Teaspoon Lemon Juice
1 Egg Yolk
Zest of 1 Lemon
In a mixing bowl or a stand mixer, cube up the butter and the cream cheese. Sift over the flour and the salt and then work into a dough. It will need a few tablespoons of cold water for it to come together.
Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and set it in the fridge to firm up a little while you make the fillings. This makes it easier to roll later.
In a small saucepan, add the ingredients for the blueberry filling and simmer over a medium heat, stirring often. The blueberries will break apart and the whole mix will resemble a compote. Have a careful taste and add more sugar if necessary. It's nice for it to have a bit of a tart edge, but there should still be some sweetness to it. It will seem quite thin at first, but will thicken up as it cools. Once this is made, set it aside so it can cool a little.
In a small mixing bowl, add the ingredients for the Lemon Ricotta filling. Makes sure these are all mixed well and that you don't have any big lumps. I love the colors of the filling before it's mixed, all different shades of yellow.
Preheat the oven to 350F. Divide your dough into 12 pieces, then mush three of those back together and stick them wrapped up in the freezer for a later date. Roll the remaining pieces into balls and then use a rolling pin to flatten them into thin discs. Place them into 9 muffin cups.
I started out with twelve, then remembered this recipe makes less filling than that and changed my mind.
Divide the blueberry mixture into the pastry cups, then spoon over the ricotta and the top with a fresh blueberry. Bake for 30 minutes and then cool on a wire rack.
Makes nine delicious tarts. Serve a little warm or at room temperature, or cold for breakfast the next day.
Here is another recipe you might like: