Author Notes: The decision to bake is not one that comes about lightly in our house. If we are going to take the time to bake, we like make sure we get the most out of it. Since it's only 2 of us- our 22 month-old daughter doesn't get many sweets- a whole tart is likely get stale before we eat it all. So I decided to make a tart, then split it in half and make one part of it for breakfast and second for dessert.
The breakfast half of this ricotta tart is inspired by the Alsatian classic tart flambee with bacon and caramelized onions it is the ultimate breakfast treat. The second tart sports lemon scented ricotta sweetened with honey that is a perfect, light dessert when dressed with fresh berries.
tart dough adapted from Baking with Julia - Chef James
Makes 2 tarts
- 10 ounces all purpose flour
- 4 ounces cornmeal
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 4 ounces butter, cit into pieces and chilled
- 2 ounces buttermilk or sour cream
- 4 ounces cold water
- 6 pieces sliced bacon (about 6 ounces)
- 1 medium onion, thinly sliced (about 2 cups)
- 6 branches fresh thyme
- 1 pound fresh ricotta, drained in a coffee filter
- 2 eggs
- 2 egg yolks, whites reserved for egg wash
- zest of 1/2 lemon
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1/2 teaspoon almond extract (optional)
- granulated sugar, as needed
- To make the crust, combine the flour, cornmeal, sugar and salt in a food processor and pulse to combine.
- Add the chilled butter and pulse again to cut the butter in small bits. Pour in the buttermilk and cold water and pulse again until a dough forms.
- Turn the loose ball of dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead until smooth. Divide the dough into 2 balls, wrap tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate.
- For the fillings, place 6 strips of bacon on a rack set over a baking sheet. Bake in the oven at 375˚ until well browned and crisped, about 10 minutes. Remove the crisp bacon to paper towels to rest and drain. Reserve the bacon drippings.
- Place the sliced onions on the baking sheet and mix to coat with the bacon grease. Scatter the branches of thyme over the onions, season lightly with salt and pepper and return the oven. Roast the onions until caramelized, about 20 minutes. Remove the onions from the oven occasionally and stir help them cook evenly. When the onions are cooked set aside to drain.
- Place the ricotta in a large bowl, add the eggs and egg yolks; whisk well to combine. Divide the ricotta mixture into two bowls.
- Chop the crisped bacon and add to one of the bowls of the ricotta mixture along with the caramelized onions. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Whisk the lemon zest, honey and almond extract (if using) into the second bowl of ricotta.
- Roll out each ball of dough to between 1/8 and 1/4 of an inch thick. Trim the dough into a 12 inch circle. Place each circle in the center of a baking pan lined with parchment paper. Pour one filling into the center of each dough and fold the sides of the dough around the filling.
- Whisk the egg whites with one tablespoon water. Brush the folded edges of the tart with the egg wash. Sprinkle the edges of the lemon-honey tart with sugar. Place the tarts in the oven to bake at 400˚ until the edges are golden brown. The filling will bubble during the baking. Cool completely before slicing.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Late Winter Tart (Sweet or Savory)