I was out of the country for the past couple of weeks, where I had a bit of a summer produce breakdown. I wanted my corn and asparagus! I was craving peaches and plums and berries! I needed to try out my new ice cream maker! Summer was slipping me by!
I calmed down a bit, ate mangoes in abundance (because that’s what you do where there are mangoes in abundance. and also what you do when you’re sad), and checked the weather online to make sure that summer aint goin anywhere.
So here I am. Back in the country and jet lagged. And ready to make summery dishes using summery things! Starting with these little tarts. Barely sweetened, lightly spiced and completely highlighting the fruit, these are exactly what I was dreaming about. And what I will continue to dream about as I take another nap.
Strawberry Ricotta Graham Tarts (recipe from Food and Wine)
In the interest of full disclosure, you should know that I made these tarts a while ago. Meaning that I was fully alert at 2pm and had the energy to make everything from scratch. Which I’ve included below. But! I did have them again yesterday. Tired and delirious. With store-bought thin ginger cookies, and store-bought ricotta. And because I’m being so completely honest here, I’ll go ahead and say that these weren’t as good as the real thing. But what is, really? So you shouldn’t be surprised. And you’re not the one that’s jet lagged. So make these from scratch. There you go.
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
Pinch of ground cloves
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 tablespoons honey
1 1/2 teaspoons molasses
3/4 pound strawberries, thinly sliced
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 1/4 cups fresh ricotta (recipe here)
2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
In a bowl, whisk both flours with the cinnamon, salt and cloves. In a standing mixer fitted with the paddle, or with an electric hand mixer, beat the butter, light brown sugar and 2 tablespoons of the granulated sugar at medium speed until fluffy, about 1 minute. Beat in the honey and molasses, about 30 seconds. Scrape down the side of the bowl and beat in the flour mixture at low speed, just until incorporated. Pat the dough into a disk, cover with plastic and refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour.
Preheat the oven to 350°. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper. On a lightly floured work surface, roll out the dough 1/8 inch thick. Make sure that the dough is not too thick. Using a 3 inch round cookie cutter, stamp out cookies; reroll the dough scraps if necessary. Transfer the shapes to the baking sheets and bake for about 12-14 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through, until lightly golden around the edges. Let cool on the pans for 5 minutes, then transfer the cookies to racks to cool completely.
In a bowl, toss the strawberries with the remaining 1/3 cup of sugar and the lemon juice. Let stand until syrupy, 20 minutes.
In a medium bowl, mix the ricotta, confectioners’ sugar and lemon zest. Spread about 1 tablespoon of the ricotta mixture on each oval. Arrange the strawberries over the ricotta, drizzle with the syrup and serve.