Saturday, February 17, 2024

Pear, Prosciutto and Ricotta Tart


Flaky puff pastry, ricotta cheese, pears, prosciutto and pecans -- put them all together and you've got the recipe for one terrific tart. It's so delicious with the sweet/savory combo going on and easy to put together too. I served it recently to guests for the first time, as an appetizer before the main course, and we gobbled down the entire thing. You could also make it your lunch or dinner, served with a salad on the side.

Start with purchased puff pastry, spread onto some parchment paper, turn up the edges and prick the bottom. Then spread some ricotta cheese on top.
Sprinkle some salt and pepper over the ricotta.
Slice some pears, seasoning again with salt and pepper and a little olive oil, and sprinkle some fennel or anise seeds on the edges (don't skip this part). Bake.


When it comes out of the oven, top it with some sliced prosciutto and pecans that have been cooked in butter and honey. The final touch is the rosemary that has been crisped slightly in butter. Full recipe below.

It's pretty irresistible even without the prosciutto. If you want to serve it as a dessert, eliminate the prosciutto and add a couple of tablespoons of sugar to the ricotta cheese. 
Betcha' can't eat just one piece!

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Ingredients:

  • 1 (14 oz) sheet puff pastry, thawed
  • 8 oz whole milk ricotta cheese
  • kosher salt
  • freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1 large pear, thinly sliced
  • drizzle of olive oil
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tbsp cream (or milk)
  • 1 tsp anise (or fennel) seeds
  • 4 tbsp butter
  • 1 large sprig fresh rosemary
  • ¼ cup honey
  • ½ cup chopped pecans
  • 8 thin slices prosciutto di parma
Instructions:
  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a half sheet pan with parchment paper. Unfold the puff pastry into a rectangle. Spread the ricotta cheese evenly onto the dough, leaving a 1” border. Season with salt and freshly cracked pepper.
  2. Arrange the sliced pears over the ricotta. Drizzle with olive oil and season again. Fold the edges of dough over the pears and pinch the corners together. Combine the egg yolk and cream in a small bowl. Brush this egg wash onto the border of dough. Sprinkle the anise seeds onto the border.
  3. Bake the tart for 30 minutes on the middle rack of the oven. Meanwhile, melt the butter over medium heat in a small saucepan. Add the rosemary sprig. Drop the heat to medium-low and continue to cook until the butter is lightly browned and the rosemary is crisp. Remove and reserve the rosemary. Turn off the heat and whisk in the honey.
  4. Remove the tart from the oven and drizzle 2 tablespoons of the honey mixture over top. Bake again for 10 minutes, or until golden and caramelized. Stir the pecans into the remaining honey mixture.
  5. Transfer the tart to a cutting board. Let cool for a minute or so. Top with the slices of prosciutto. Spoon the pecans over top and garnish with the fried rosemary leaves. Cut into pieces and serve immediately.