Celebrate your weekend, or any other planned get together with this Italian Honey Ricotta tart. It's deliciously filled with creamy honey and orange-zest flavored ricotta cheese, while the crust is subtly sweet with that perfect hint of rum. You will be in tart heaven!
You'll appreciate this ricotta tart recipe because it is straightforward to make, yet it looks so rustic and incredibly beautiful once it comes out of the oven. And it tastes amazing!
- It's sweet enough to serve as a dessert. I often make it around the Holidays;
- But it equally belongs on a cozy brunch table—think delicious homemade egg dishes, fruity drinks, mocktails, or coffee drinks, and the colorful display of nut butter spreads, jams, and bread next to your favorite cheeses or charcuterie. The rustic look of this Ricotta cheese tart adds extra charm.
- Kids and adults alike get really excited about this treat.
- And it's purely designed to keep your family and friends around the table for a little while longer as you catch-up, relax and indulge in a slice of this Italian ricotta tart.
Any leftovers store easily in the fridge for up to one week. And it's lovely to enjoy any extra slices with your favorite cup of coffee or tea as an afternoon indulgence.
Extra notes on making the filling
The orange zest
- Use a Microplane or any grater to zest half of the orange. It adds that citrusy, tangy flavor to this tart recipe.
- Only zest the colorful part of the peel and not the white pith. You want to avoid the more bitter flavor of the pith.
- The other half of the orange peel, you'll peel with a regular vegetable peeler or sharp knife as per the recipe instructions and is used to garnish the tart.
- I usually rework the peeled orange in a green smoothie.
- Make the ricotta filling first. It is super easy to make, and you want to refrigerate the creamy mixture while preparing the crust to firm up a little.
- You can choose whole milk or part-skim ricotta cheese.
- However, the part-skim version can sometimes contain more liquid in the box. Drain it to obtain a thicker texture.
- I prefer the whole milk ricotta cheese. It's rich but not too heavy and has a fuller flavor.
- But either one will work.
- Adding four tablespoons of flour thickens the mixture and creates an extra soft texture to the filling once baked.
- If you can, go for liquid honey.
- For this recipe, I like all-natural wildflower or Orange blossom honey.
- And they are readily available at almost all stores or online.
Notes on making the crust
- I love to use a mix between gluten-free all-purpose flour and Teff flour—also gluten-free.
- Teff flour adds a lovely natural sweetness to the crust and a beautiful rustic red-brownish color—Bob's Red Mill sells a good stone-ground version.
- Coconut sugar and vanilla extract add an extra hint of sweetness.
- But what gives the crust a more sophisticated flavor is the addition of Brandy or rum. You can choose either one, but if I have both available I'll go for Brandy.
- Brandy is made by wine or fermented fruit juices, while rum is made using molasses or sugarcane juices.
- There is NO BOOZY taste, rather it is added for moisture, a crumblier texture, and a richer flavor that goes well with the orange-flavored ricotta cheese.
This tart doesn't need any garnish. It looks incredible once baked with its golden colors. But if you want to take it a step further, keep it simple with orange rind matchsticks.
- Cut the peel of the other half of the orange into large segments.
- Remove any thick white parts from the inside of the peel.
- Flatten the segments out on the cutting board with the palm of your hand.
- And then, with a sharp knife, cut from end to end into thin sticks.
- Give each orange stick a light squeeze to bend them a bit and arrange crisscross on one side of the tart—see picture.
- You can add some edible flowers, sprinkle extra orange zest, or use some dried or fake eucalyptus leaves—these are just a few suggestions.
This Italian ricotta tart
- Is beautifully rustic looking;
- Deliciously creamy, slightly sweet, and wonderfully soft in the middle;
- It has that buttery, almost cookie-like crust that everyone will love;
- And sophisticated flavors due to the orange zest and a tad of Brandy or rum.
- Around the Holidays, this tart is always a family favorite.
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You might also like my No Bake Mascarpone Fruit and Amaretto Tart—another one of my favorite!
- 2 eggs at room temperature
- 15 ounces (425 grams) fresh whole milk ricotta cheese
- ⅓ cup local honey
- Grated zest of ½ of an orange, reserve the rest of the peel for garnish
- 4 tablespoons gluten-free all-purpose flour
- 1 ¼ cups gluten-free all-purpose flour, plus more to sprinkle work surface
- 1 cup Teff flour
- ½ cup coconut sugar
- 6 tablespoons pure butter, melted
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs, beaten
- 4 tablespoons Brandy or rum
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit or 180 degrees Celsius
MAKE THE FILLING:
- Separate the egg whites from the yolks. Place the egg whites in a clean mixing bowl and mix on medium speed until firm—or use a stand mixer. See the note below on what to do with the yolks.
- In a medium bowl, combine the ricotta cheese with the honey and the grated orange zest.
- Fold the firm egg whites into the honey ricotta mixture. Cover and store in the fridge while you are preparing the crust.
MAKE THE CRUST:
- In a large bowl, combine the all-purpose flour with Teff flour and the coconut sugar.
- Then add the butter, vanilla extract, eggs, and Brandy.
- Combine the ingredients in the bowl. The dough will first be crumbly. Then use your hands to combine everything until you get a rough ball (see picture). If the mixture is too dry to form a rough ball, add one extra tablespoon of Brandy or honey.
- Transfer the dough to the center of the tart pan.
- Press firmly into the bottom and up the sides, making sure all corners are equally covered.
MAKE THE TART:
- Transfer the reserved ricotta mixture into crust pan and with a spatula, divide it equally over its surface.
- Bake for 40 to 50 minutes or until filling is set and browned in spots.
- Cool completely.
- Before serving, garnish tart with curled orange peels.
- Cut into wedges and serve at room temperature.
ORANGE PEELS FOR GARNISH (OPTIONAL):
- Use a vegetable peeler to peel the other half of the reserved orange.
- Start from the top and peel all the way in one swoop to the bottom of the orange.
- Slice the thick peel into thin matchsticks
- Bend them slightly and arrange them crisis cross onto one side of the tart (see picture.)
- You can sprinkle over some extra orange zest, decorate further with lavender leaves, edible flowers, or crushed hazelnuts (these are just a few suggestions.)
Cover and store up to one week in the fridge in an airtight container.
Store the yolks in an airtight container and use either the same or next day to make an omelet or throw in with other eggs to make a scrambled egg dish.
Equipment: 9-inch tart pan with a removable bottom
Nutrition Information:Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 431
Disclaimer: This nutritional data is calculated using third party tools and is only intended as a reference.
This post was originally published in April 2017 and has since been updated with new pictures and new information.