Rich homemade pastry sets the stage for a creamy-sweet combination of ricotta cheese and caramelized Ontario apples. Infused with Calvados (apple brandy), they make the perfect ‘small bite’ sweet ending to your next dinner party, where tummies are full but sweet cravings are still seeking satisfaction.
1/4 cup sour cream 50 mL
1/3 cup ice water 75 mL
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour 250 mL
1/4 cup cornmeal 50 mL
1 tbsp granulated sugar 15 mL
1/4 tsp salt 1 mL
1/3 cup cold butter, cubed 75 mL
2 lbs Ontario Apples*, peeled, cored 1 kg and diced
1/4 cup granulated sugar 50 mL
1/4 cup Calvados (apple flavoured liqueur) 50 mL
1 tbsp lemon zest 15 mL
1/4 cup whole-milk ricotta cheese 50 mL
2 Ontario Apples*, peeled, cored and thinly sliced
1/4 cup bottled apple jelly 50 mL
Make pastry: In measuring cup, whisk together sour cream and water. Keep cold in refrigerator.
In food processor, pulse together flour, cornmeal, sugar and salt to combine.
Pulse in butter until mixture resembles large peas. Pulse in chilled sour cream mixture until a rough dough forms. Cover in plastic wrap and flatten into a disc. Chill at least one hour and up to 2 days.
Make filling: Meanwhile, in a saucepan over medium low heat, stir together apples, sugar, Calvados and lemon zest; cook, covered, stirring occasionally, until apples are very tender, about 30 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool. Stir in ricotta.
Preheat oven to 375˚F (190˚C). Divide dough into 12 pieces and roll into 4-inch (10 cm) discs. Arrange in greased muffin tin. Repeat with remaining dough. Fill each with 2 heaping tablespoons (30 mL) of apple ricotta mixture. Fan apple slices decoratively over top of each tart. Melt jelly in microwave for about 30 seconds or until pourable. Drizzle over each tart.
Bake in the centre of preheated oven until pastry is golden and filling is bubbling, about 45 minutes. Transfer to cooling rack and cool 10 minutes before removing tarts from tin.
Makes 12 tarts.
*Variety Tip: For best results use Ontario Spartan, Cortland or Empire Apples.
Chef’s Tip: For extra flavour, drizzle each tart with 1 tsp (5 mL) of Calvados while they cool.