How does it happen? One day you’re a completely obsessed superfan of something like say Tai Bo, cheesecake or Ricky Martin. Then the next day you act like you and your girlfriend didn’t skip school to go buy the “Livin La Vida Loca” CD at Sam Goodie, the day it was released. Were they all just passing 90’s trends or am I just upside inside out?
Cheesecake used to be the end all be all dessert for me. If cheesecake was on the menu, you’d better believe I was ordering it. Cheesecake flavored ice cream, always. Cheesecake for breakfast, duh. I was a cheesehead, I’ll admit it. Then over time, it just sort of fell of my radar. In fact, I think I’ve only made a true cheesecake once or twice in my life. Strange considering how loca I was for cheesecake back in the day.
This recipe for Ricotta & Amarena Cherry Tart with Pistachio Crust is essentially a lazy girl’s cheesecake. I took my hit recipe for Fig Mascarpone Tart with Pistachio Black Pepper Crust (it’s been pinned over 30k times on Pinterest! What?!) and the Bon Appetit recipe for Ricotta Pie with Amarena Cherries to make this glorious lovechild called Ricotta & Amarena Cherry Tart with Pistachio Crust. The combination of the two recipes will push and pull you down and the flavors, textures and colors will make you go insane, like a bullet to the brain. Ricky really was quite the lyricist, wasn’t he?
The base of the fluffy filling is a simple blend of ricotta cheese, Greek yogurt, honey, vanilla and lemon zest, resulting in a light and airy texture instead of the densely rich classic. Only the tart shell requires baking, the filling sets up in the fridge so there is no need for the water bath business that a classic cheesecake requires. Yay! I like to use a 14″ x 4 1⁄2″ x 1″ rectangular tart pan with a removable bottom for easy slicing. Not only is it easy to make, this recipe for Ricotta & Amarena Cherry Tart with Pistachio Crust balances texture and flavor beautifully with a crunchy pistachio crust, light and creamy ricotta filling and sweet and syrupy tart cherries on top. This is the first time I’ve used Amarena Cherries in baking, until now they’ve generally been reserved to serving in Old Fashioneds. I am kicking myself for not doing it sooner. Amarena cherries are already perfection so all you need to do is spoon a few of those devil red delights on top of each slice of the Ricotta & Amarena Cherry Tart with Pistachio Crust along with a hearty drizzle of that flavor packed Amarena Cherry syrup.
I am crushing over this recipe almost as hard as I was crushing over Ricky Martin back in ’99. I’ve got a new addiction
for every day and night, this Ricotta & Amarena Cherry Tart with Pistachio Crust. <3
This Ricotta & Amarena Cherry Tart with Pistachio Crust balances texture and flavor beautifully with a crunchy pistachio crust, light and creamy ricotta filling and sweet and syrupy tart cherries on top.
- 1 large egg yolk - at room temperature
- 2 tablespoons cream
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter - cold and cut into 1/4" cubes
- 1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
- 1/4 cup powdered sugar - sifted
- 1/3 cup pistachios
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoons salt
- 1 cup ricotta cheese
- 2/3 cup Greek yogurt
- 1/3 cup honey
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extact
- 1 lemon - finely zested
- 30 Amarena Cherries & syrup
Mix together the cream, egg yolk and vanilla in a small bowl, set aside.
Combine 1/3 cup of pistachios with 1/4 cup of flour in a food processor, pulse until finely ground. *The flour will absorb the oils from the nuts and keep them from turning to a paste in the food processor.
Add the remaining flour, powdered sugar, salt and black pepper. Pulse until fully combined.
Add the cold butter cubes and pulse until the butter chunks are about the size of dimes. You want a rough texture with some floury butter chunks still visible as opposed to a smooth dough.
While pulsing the dough, slowly add the liquid mixture just until the dough starts to come together into a ball.
Remove from the food processor and combine the dough into a flattened and smooth oblong disk. Cover in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out in an oblong shape if using a rectangular tart pan or a round shape if using a round tart pan, until it is about 1/4" thick.
Carefully ease the dough into tart pan. If it cracks or breaks during the transfer process, use your fingers to seal the cracks.
Cut the excess dough off, leaving a 1" overhang all the way around. Then fold the overhanging dough back inward creating a thicker edge all the way around. Run your rolling pin along the top edges of the tart pan trimming off the extra dough and creating a perfect tart edge.
Line the tart dough with a sheet of aluminum foil, fill with beans or pie weights. Bake for 15-20 minutes until the edges begin to turn a golden brown. Remove the foil filled with beans and bake the crust for another 5 minutes until the edges are a deep golden brown and the bottom is fully baked and golden.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, mix the ricotta, Greek yogurt, vanilla, honey and lemon zest together until smooth.
Chill in the fridge for at least a couple of hours to allow the filling to set.
Once the filling is set and doesn't jiggle anymore, slice into 8-10 wedges. Top each wedge with a few amarena cherries and a heavy drizzle of the amarena cherry syrup. Serve immediately.