Real Food Mama

Musings about cooking, eating and everything in between.

Delicious Ricotta and Peach Tart May 29, 2011

Filed under: Baking,Cheese making,Recipe — realfoodmama @ 1:51 pm
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Now that my goat is back in milk, I am back to my cheese making rituals. The girl I have in milk at the moment is giving me nearly a gallon a day already, and will probably give me more in the next month or so. One of my favorite cheeses to have on hand is ricotta. Ricotta is really a by-product of other cheese making, as it is made by reheating the whey left over from the drained curds of any other cheese. The actual ricotta itself is the small pieces of protein, known as albumin, and when the whey is recooked the proteins denature and if you have fine cheesecloth on hand you can strain it and get ricotta!

There are many uses for this cheese, but my favorite use is in baking. Ricotta can be used to make cheesecake like tarts, adds great flavor and texture to baked goods such as cakes and muffins, and of course is used frequently in baked pasta dishes such as lasagne. I like to experiment with it as it is very forgiving and last night in an effort to make some room in my fridge, I came up with this fabulous recipe.

Ricotta and Peach Tart

3-4 medium peaches
2 c ricotta cheese
1 whole egg
1 egg white
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/4 c cane sugar
1/2 c hazelnut flour

For the pastry

1 1/4 c flour
1/4 c sugar
1 stick unsalted butter
1/2 tsp salt
1 egg yolk

Begin by making the pastry. You can use a food processor to speed this up. If you are going to mix it by hand, it is helpful to have the butter softened. Whisk the flour, sugar and salt together. Add the butter and combine, with the processor or a hand held pastry blender, until you have the appearance of coarse crumbs. Add the egg yolk and mix until it just comes together. Pour into a 9 inch tart pan and shape with your hands. Prick holes in the tart shell with a fork (or use pie weights to keep it from bubbling) and bake at 400 degrees for about 15 minutes or until it just starts to brown.

While the pastry is blind baking, make the filling. Mix the ricotta with the egg white, whole egg, vanilla, sugar and hazelnut flour. Whisk until well mixed. Remove the tart shell from the oven and add the mixture. Return the filled shell to the oven, lower the oven temperature to 375 and bake until the tart sets, This should take about 35-45 minutes depending on the texture of the ricotta. Home-made ricotta tends to have more liquid in it than store bought and will take longer to set.

While the tart is baking, slice the peaches in half and remove the pits. Thinly slice the peaches, keeping the skin on, and place in a bowl with a tablespoon or two of sugar. When the tart is set, remove it from the oven and place it on a cooling rack. Arrange the peaches on top in whatever pattern you want, being sure to include any juices that have accumulated while the peaches were macerating. Let cool and serve.

Enjoy and Happy Eating!

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Peach Medeira Crumble September 17, 2009

Filed under: Baking,Recipe — realfoodmama @ 3:08 pm
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Peach Madeira Crumble

Peach Madeira Crumble

Peach season is coming to a close here and my last hurrah was a crumble using a type of Cling peach – basically a peach that maintains its firmness even when ripe and literally clings to the pit. While this makes the preparation rather difficult, it results in an excellent texture when baked – never mushy and always nice and firm.

It has been so rainy and cold here for the last few days that I wanted to do something nice and warm, but I had just made a pie and was kind of sick of traditional cobblers. It should also be noted that I needed my buttermilk for the chicken pot pie I am making tonight so that also forced me to experiment a bit with the recipe! I usually cover my cobblers with a sweet buttermilk biscuit dough.

Peach Madeira Crumble

4 cups peaches, peeled and sliced into 1/4 thick pieces.
1/4 c Madeira
1/2 c cane sugar

Mix everything together in a bowl and let sit at room temperature for 15 minutes to allow the peaches to soak up the flavor of the Madeira.

The Topping

1 c all purpose flour
6 TBSP butter, chilled
1/2 c brown sugar
1/3 c pecan pieces

Mix the flour and sugar together in a bowl. Using a pastry blender mix the butter into the flour mixture until it resembles cornmeal. Add the pecans.

Once the peach mixture is good and infused, place it into a 11×7 inch baking dish. Cover it with the crumble mixture and bake at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes, depending on how dark you want your topping to get.

Serve warm with vanilla ice cream for the ultimate dessert.

Happy Eating!