Inspired by the Michel Roux ricotta tart which I have long wanted to make. It calls for the freshest most perfect ricotta and that from Mihai and Ioana Preotescu in the Spring is incredibly creamy and deserving of the term “unctuous”. As a follow on from a feast of goats cheese with freshly made flat breads, nuts and cheese a risk of lactic over indulgence? surely not. Superb ever trustworthy pairing of the Stirbey Tamaioasa Romaneasca Sec recommended by Richard Fox elevated the offerings.
400g ricotta – the best and freshest you have access to
edible flowers – elderflowers, honeysuckle, orange blossom
Good floral honey such as acacia or linden
MR adds pistachios and serves with wedges of lemon separately to heighten the flavour of the ricotta. This ricotta was so full of subtle flavours and real milk flavour that I didnt want to mess with it very much. I just used honey.
- Blind bake the tart case and let cool
- Mash the ricotta with a fork
- Dribble honey into the base of the tart case
- Spoon the ricotta over the top
- Decorate with the flowers
Cherries, strawberries and my favourite gooseberries lightly poached with some elderflower create a heavenly cheesecake
A gloriously laissez faire affaire full of bonhomie and warmth. It has its roots in the frugality of Nana’s war time fruit cake when eggs, butter and sugar were scarce. This was simply what you did for the generation that believed throwing away food was “the work of the devil”. Fast forward to these food sensitive times and we have a right on “recycled vegan low GI GF gateau” oh trendy dears. Whatever its name..it is a cake for all times in every sense – judging by the number of second helpings this Easter and enthusiasm from the marauding feline contingent too.
An alternative dessert
If you have some very overripe pears and a bit of leftover strong cheese in your fridge that you don’t know what to do with then this tart makes them standout stars. The combination of very ripe pears and cheese is one of the most magical tastes of Autumn be it a pungent Roquefort or some really good goat’s cheese – which i was lucky enough to have in my fridge. In fact I first made a version of this tart with Roquefort but I might prefer it made with the impeccable clean tasting goat’s cheese from Mihai Preotescu as in this version. The recipe uses my easy peasy walnut and olive oil pastry which is just pressed by hand into the tin – no rolling pin necessary and no cleaning of a flour dusted work surface – labour saving and saving the planet all at the same time … We drizzled it with some strong wonderful Romanian honey and serevd more roasted walnuts alongside. I am ashamed to say (was it the wine?) I cant remember which type it was..perhaps “stejar” (oak).
This is a perfect dessert for those who do not like or cannot eat “sweets” but it is also a lovely light lunch served with a good remoulade of autumn veggies: celeriac, carrot,apple.