June 18, 2009

Strawberry-Ricotta Tartlet

Strawberry-Ricotta Tartlet

Strawberries may well be my favorite food. Not surprising, really, when you consider that I was born within sight of Mt. Hood at the time of year when Hood strawberries are just right! To celebrate my birthday I thought it would be lovely to have a nice strawberry tart. But I couldn't decide exactly how it should look, so I made tartlets.

Strawberry-Ricotta Tartlet ShellI started by making some Vanilla Shortbread Dough. I used Madagascar Bourbon vanilla extract instead of Tahitian, and replaced the vanilla paste with powdered freeze-dried strawberries to give the dough a bit of kick. I followed my own instructions, and didn't worry when the dough cracked before baking. Remember to chill the tartlet shells before baking. I baked them for about 13 minutes at 350°F/175°C.

Strawberry-Ricotta Tartlet FilledWhile the tartlet shells were baking, I mixed some whole milk ricotta with about a teaspoon of honey,  some puréed strawberries, and a hint of cinnamon. Once the shells were finished baking and cooling, I filled them with the ricotta. If I had had some, I would have used strawberry honey, which is honey from hives in which the bees harvest pollen from strawberry fields.

Strawberry-Ricotta Tartlet BuildingThe strawberries went into a bowl of cold water along with several sprigs of spearmint from the garden. Then it was just a matter of selecting berries that were just right, slicing them, and laying them into the shells, sometimes with mint leaves interspersed. To finish, I melted some strawberry jam and brushed it onto the berries.

As I said, I couldn't decide exactly how the tart should look, so I made two sizes of tartlets and then decorated each a little differently. One of them featured whole berries.

Strawberry-Ricotta Tartlet 1

I also made several smaller tartlets, decorating them as flowers.

Strawberry-Ricotta Tartlet 4

Now the only problem I have is that I have to eat them, and I can't figure out which one to eat first!

33 comments:

  1. I don't think strawberries could look any more delicous..

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thank you! Hood strawberries are absolutely the finest in the world. Or at least we Oregonians like to think so. ;)

    ReplyDelete
  3. Looks like a great way to use those beautiful strawberries!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thanks! The berries are nicely sweet without being mealy, so they do well as the featured item.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I would have been glad to have helped you eat them.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Good lord! You are killing me. I'm in the middle of curing my first piece of bacon, and now I have to learn how to make ricotta too. LOL That looks seriously amazing!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Thanks!

    You're already getting bacon started? I haven't even figured out what meat I want. But I am getting a sourdough starter going in the next couple of days. Ruhlman's BLT Challenge is going to be interesting.

    ReplyDelete
  8. These look lovely. Like little flowers. I love how you arranged the strawberries....

    ReplyDelete
  9. Happy birthday! I will have to try your recipes soon. They are beautiful. -Tien

    ReplyDelete
  10. Thank you, Julia and Tien. Arranging the strawberries took a fair amount of time, but it was worth it.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Those are positively Blue Ribbon winners...so gorgeous and I can just taste the berries and ricotta. Do you know the brand of strawberry honey and where it can be purchased? Is the ricotta from whole milk or non-fat? Doesn't matter really, I'm not allergic to milk fat, just curious.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Thanks!

    The ricotta is whole milk, freshly made last week. See the post.

    Strawberry honey is something I've never actually seen and it wouldn't have a brand. It would require a beekeeper to make sure his bees were feeding on strawberry blossoms, just like they do to produce wildflower or blackberry or poison ivy honey. It would be found at a Farmers' Market somewhere, if anyone has done it. Strawberry blossoms may not be on the plant long enough for honey production, I don't know.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Oh my word, those are works of art. So beautiful. Fantastic. Bravo. :)

    ReplyDelete
  14. Thank you! It was fun to practice the old trade once more, and see that I could still pull it off.

    ReplyDelete
  15. The ones decorated as flowers are stunning!

    ReplyDelete
  16. Thank you!

    It wasn't all that hard to do, just tedious.

    ReplyDelete
  17. I physically shivered at how stunning those look.

    ReplyDelete
  18. These look beautiful! I love the petal arrangement.

    ReplyDelete
  19. OMG, I'm so glad I found your blog! There is some new deliciousness in my future.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Thanks! I hope you'll let me know how things turn out when you try them.

    ReplyDelete
  21. I will definitely have to try this. It is absolutely a beautiful dessert!

    ReplyDelete
  22. Thanks! It was delicious as well.

    ReplyDelete
  23. do you have a great recipe for Bread Pudding with white chocolate and not torn pieces of bread? I need a recipe that has a solid piece when you cut it in a square or use a round cutter to cut in a circle???
    katie

    ReplyDelete
  24. I don't have a recipe like that. Maybe someone else reading will respond with one.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Try this one, but don't cube the bread. Just toast it whole: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/White-Chocolate-Bread-Pudding-with-White-Chocolate-Sauce-2979

    ReplyDelete
  26. I have a question about vanilla extract. I haven't found the real one in shops yet but we can buy vanilla sugar or vanilla aroma. Vanilla aroma doesn't give any taste but as for vanilla sugar I don't use sugar (or much sugar) in general.
    Do you buy this extract or make it yourself? Which ones are good and where can they be bought?
    I love your recipes indeed!

    ReplyDelete
  27. Thanks! The extracts I recommend are available at my Amazon store in the Food Department.

    ReplyDelete
  28. Oh my, beautiful and delicious. I almost might not want to eat one. I did say almost LOL!


    To katie,
    I have a recipe - well actually an idea and a picture for the bread pudding that you describe on my blog. Check it out

    ReplyDelete
  29. I wish your tarts were in wonka vision so I can just grab one and gobble it all up! Absolutely Perfect!

    ReplyDelete
  30. Excellent instructions and photos. Awesome Post!

    ReplyDelete
  31. absolutely brilliant. my fav. strawberries..

    ReplyDelete
  32. Wow! Yummy! Well-decorated as well. The displayed photo of strawberries above is tongue-drolling.

    ReplyDelete