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Ricotta Cherry Tart

(Makes one 10-inch tart)
Ricotta Cherry Tart
Ricotta Cherry Tart

Pastry Crust:
1-3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
Grated zest of one lemon
1/2 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes
1 whole egg and 1 egg yolk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1-1/2 cups ricotta cheese
2 eggs
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup sour cherry jam


To make the pastry crust:
In a large bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, salt, and lemon zest.  Using a
pastry blender, cut in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.

In a small bowl, whisk together the egg, yolk, and vanilla.  Pour over the flour
mixture and stir until the liquid is incorporated.  If the mixture is too dry to
come together into a dough, add a little bit of water.  Shape the dough into a
disk, cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or up to overnight.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Place the dough between two sheets of plastic wrap.  Roll out into a 12-inch
round.  Remove the top layer of plastic wrap, flip the dough round over, and
transfer it to a 10-inch tart pan with a removable bottom. Remove the 
remaining piece of plastic wrap and gently press the dough smoothly against
the bottom and sides of the tart pan.  Trim around the edge, leaving a 1/2-inch
overhang.  Fold the overhang against the inside rim of the pan.  Refrigerate
the dough-lined pan while you prepare the filling.

To make the filling:
In a bowl, whisk together the ricotta, eggs, sugar, and vanilla until smooth.
Spread the cherry jam evenly over the bottom of the pastry crust.
Pour the ricotta filling over the jam and spread it evenly.

Bake the tart for 55-60 minutes, until the top is puffed and slightly golden.
Transfer the tart to a wire rack to cool for 10 minutes.
Remove the pan rim and let the tart cool completely.
Serve chilled or at room temperature. 
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This dessert comes from Rome in the Lazio region of Italy.   Bakeries in Rome's Jewish quarter are
known for their delicious pastries.  This tart consists of 3 layers: a buttery, crisp pastry crust,
layered with sour cherry jam, and topped with a creamy ricotta filling. 
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