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pear, ricotta + honey tart


I have been a little obsessed with ricotta cheesecake lately.  I've made it several times, trying out a few different recipes, tweaking as I go.  I've landed on one that I love but cannot seem to get a decent picture of it to save my life. And, quite frankly, I can't continue to eat ricotta cheesecake every other week. That doesn't work with the ol' 'stay in my jeans' plan. While browsing the produce section last week I came upon these lovely red pears and knew that a Thanksgiving dessert recipe must be developed to showcase their beauty. And then I thought, why not combine that idea with what I've learned about the perfect ricotta cheesecake? Voila, a new dessert star is born.

This recipe combines three of my favorite things: seasonal fruit, tender crust, and ricotta cheesecake. Shared with loved ones it makes the perfect end to an Autumn meal. Enjoy, my friends!

Pear, Ricotta + Honey Tart
serves 8

for the crust
  • 1-¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 stick (½ cup) unsalted butter, cold, cut into ½-inch cubes
  • 4-5 tbsp water
for the tart
  • 16 oz whole milk ricotta
  • 6 oz cream cheese
  • 4 tbsp honey, divided
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 pears, sliced and pressed between paper towels to remove some moisture
  1. First, make the tart dough.  Blend the flour and sugar in a food processor.  Add the butter and pulse until the mixture resembles small peas, about 10 times.  Add 4 tbsp of the water and process until the dough comes together, adding the last tbsp of water if needed.  Gently gather the dough into a ball and press to a disk.  Wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, up to 2 days.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  3. After the dough has been refrigerated, remove it from the plastic and roll flat to a circle approximately 12-inches in diameter.  Lay the dough across a 9-inch tart pan and press the dough to the bottom and sides of the pan.  Roll a rolling pin over the top of the pan to cut the excess dough.  Prick the bottom of the dough with a fork in several places.  Bake the tart crust for 10 minutes and remove from oven.
  4. Blend together the ricotta, cream cheese, 3 tbsp of the honey, the egg, and the vanilla extract until well combined. Pour the mixture into the tart pan and smooth the top.  Lay the pear slices across the top of the ricotta mixture, and drizzle with the final tbsp of honey.
  5. Bake for 45-60 minutes, until the tart only jiggles slightly and is starting to brown at the edges.
  6. Let sit for 1 hour before slicing and serving.