This Mango Pistachio Ricotta Tart is for The Secret Recipe Club, created by Amanda of Amanda’s Cookin’. This is how it works: Every month, you get to scour the blog of another member of the club (assigned to you by Amanda), and pick out and cook or bake any recipe from that person’s blog. And of course, it’s a Secret. Until the big reveal, that is.
I can’t tell you how excited I was when I received this month’s assignment. Excited and scared witless at the same time. You see, Amanda assigned me one of the most beautiful blogs out there, and a blogger I adore, who also bakes some of the loveliest creations you can imagine: Deeba of Passionate About Baking.
She was also one of my very early Twitter friends, and talked me through my first macarons. And second, and third, and fourth, until I finally got the magical “feet”! “Deeeeeeeba! Feet! I’ve got FEET!” was the cry heard ’round the Twitterverse, and Deeba was right there with her “happy dance”, even though she lives in India. Deeba is, indeed, passionate about baking. Her gorgeous photography and stories and family updates, make you feel like you’re sitting at her kitchen table, having a cup of coffee and a chat.
I think it was kismet, in a way, that I was assigned Deeba’s blog. Just a week ago, our August mangos, an Indian variety called “Neelum”, started ripening. Of course, I had to find something on PAB that would be appropriate. First I toyed with one tart recipe that used plums. Then, just when I thought it was settled, last Monday Deeba posted a recipe for Peach Pistachio Ricotta Cheesecake Tart. I substitute mangos for peaches all the time, but would she even recognize her recipe by the time I was done with it?
Normally, I would just tell you what I did differently and point you to my assigned blog’s recipe. But, since I made some fairly major “adaptations,” I will give you the recipe as I made it.
First, I decided early on that I would not make the pate sucree – the sweet pastry dough for the crust. These days, I just don’t have the counter space to roll it out. (I have to work on that. And soon!) Instead, I did a riff on a crumb crust, including the important elements from Deeba’s recipe: the oatmeal and the pistachios. I also used part-skim, store-bought ricotta, but used heavy cream instead of her low fat cream, so I think the fat kind of balanced each other out. Then after making the conversions from metric to “American” (LOL!), I decided to cut her recipe in half (hers yielded one 12″x 4″ rectangular tart, plus two 3″ round tarts), and made one 10″ round tart. The uncooked filling was very thin and I knew it wouldn’t support the top layer of fruit, so I half-baked the filled tart, removed it from the oven, placed the reserved mango slices and chopped pistachios on top, then baked it the rest of the way.
The results: Outstanding! It’s like the lightest, creamiest cheesecake, ever. And if you’re anything like me, well, cheesecake ought to be its own food group, don’t you think? The summery flavor of the mangos, paired with the crunch of the pistachios, and against that creamy, dreamy backdrop, were just sensational. And yes, you can throw almost anything in that crust. Who has to know that it’s actually a little bit healthier with the addition of the oatmeal and pistachios? Plus, the little green flecks of pistachio in the crust make it so pretty! I might even save a slice for the husband when his mouth heals from his recent oral surgery.
Mango Pistachio Ricotta Tart
For the crust:
14 two-cracker sheets of soda crackers
1/3 cup oatmeal
1/3 cup pistachios
2 Tbs. natural cane sugar
pinch of salt
3 Tbs. butter, melted
For the filling:
2/3 cup low-fat ricotta cheese
6 Tbs. heavy cream
1 large egg (at room temperature)
2 1/2 Tbs. natural cane sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 Tbs. cornstarch
1 medium mango, peeled and sliced
1/4 cup pistachios, coarsely chopped
1 Tbs. mango jam, melted
Preheat the oven to 350º F.
Place all of the ingredients for the crust, except the butter, into the bowl of a food processor and process until everything is finely ground and well mixed. Add the melted butter and pulse, until the mixture looks like very wet sand.
Press the crust mixture firmly into a 10″ tart pan (I used a glass one, but the metal ones with removable bottoms are just fine), evenly and up the sides. Bake for 15 minutes, remove from the oven, and set aside.
In the meantime, clean your food processor bowl and blade, and make the filling:
In the bowl of the food processor place the ricotta, cream, egg, sugar, and vanilla extract. Process until everything is smooth. Add the cornstarch and run the food processor a few more seconds.
Now, assemble the tart:
Take half of the mango slices (and pieces – you can’t fool me) and place them on the bottom of the tart crust. Save the pretty slices for the top – just use the ones that didn’t work out so well, here. No one’s going to see them.
Pour the filling over the mango pieces and bake for 15 minutes. Remove the tart from the oven, place the reserved mango slices on top, then sprinkle with the chopped pistachios. Return the tart to the oven and bake an additional 20 – 25 minutes, or until the tart is set.
It was really fun, searching through another blogger’s recipe posts for inspiration and a different point of view. Wanna play? Join the Secret Recipe Club here.
Now follow along and see who got who – I can’t wait to see who got me and what they chose to make from my eclectic collection. Will it be a dessert? A main course? A 30-minute family meal? Let’s find out together!