Top | Deborah Madison

Ricotta and Goat Cheese Tart in a Nut Crust

(recipe, Deborah Madison)

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    For the nut crust
    1. ½ cup walnuts
    2. ¼ cup white whole-wheat pastry flour
    3. ½ cup all-purpose flour
    4. ¼ tsp. salt
    5. 3 Tbsp. light brown sugar
    6. 4 Tbsp. cold butter, cut in small pieces
    7. 1 Tbsp. walnut oil (or butter, if not available)
    8. ½ tsp. vanilla extract mixed with 3 tablespoons cold water
    For the filling
    1. 8 oz. ricotta or cream cheese (about 1 cup)
    2. 4 oz. mild goat cheese (about ½ cup)
    3. ¼ cup honey, plus extra for the top
    4. A good pinch of salt
    5. ½ cup sour cream or crème fraîche
    6. 2 eggs


    1. Put the nuts, flours, salt, and sugar in the work bowl of the food processor, then pulse several times to break up the nuts. Add the butter and oil, if using, and pulse until crumbly. Add the vanilla water and pulse until it looks moist. When gathered in your hand, the crumbs should adhere; if it seems way too dry, add more cold water drop by drop. Wipe out the work bowl and return it to the food processor.
    2. Press the dough into a 9-inch tart shell, building it evenly up the sides. Refrigerate until firm.
    3. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Place the tart crust on a sheet pan and line the crust with foil and pie weights. Bake for 20 minutes, or until the foil comes cleanly away from the crust. Remove the foil and weights. Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees and return the shell to the oven to brown lightly, another 10 minutes or so.
    4. While the tart is blind-baking, combine the filling ingredients and purée until smooth. Pour the filling into the pre-baked tart shell and bake until set, 25 to 30 minutes. The filling may swell as it bakes, but it will collapse and even out as it cools to room temperature.
    5. Serve each slice with a spoonful of the Small Dried Fruits Simmered in Pedro Ximinez and a drizzle of the syrup. Or drizzle honey over the surface, or serve with fresh fruit.