Sometimes as I sit down to write, I’m met with the dreaded writer’s block. I stare at the vast, white screen before me with only the never-ending blink of the cursor awaiting my words. It’s that cursor, sitting… waiting, that makes it even harder for something to come to me. Today is one of those days. I don’t know what I want to write about this tart other than this all started because I had a container of ricotta in the fridge that needed a purpose in life and that this tart tastes good. It’s creamy with hints of orange thanks to a hefty dose of orange zest and a kick of Grand Marnier. It’s like a thin little orange ricotta cheesecake.
The crust is by far the best pressed cookie crust I’ve ever made and that’s purely by accident. Normally I would have gone with a crushed graham cracker crust which was my original plan until I opened the cupboard only to find no graham crackers. So I turned to another cupboard where right in front were some Annie’s Homegrown Chocolate Bunny Grahams. Hmm… should I take the girls cookies in the name of baking? Why, yes I think I will. Oh and I want to put Vietnamese cinnamon in just about anything that will stand still lately so let’s throw some of that in there too. The result? I could have eaten the crust all by itself with no filling at all and been perfectly content.
Orange and chocolate happen to be one of my favorite combinations so in hindsight, I’m very happy I had no graham crackers and stole the girls cookies for the cause. I took this tart up to my dad’s house for dessert after a Sunday family dinner and it was definitely a hit. I normally take my sweets to other people’s houses to get rid of them so I don’t eat them all myself. This was one treat that I had to bring a slice back home with me. It was too good not to.
So today I have no story, no antidotes about my children or big news. Just a tasty, pretty tart and a case of writer’s block.
One Year Ago: Grand Marnier Chocolate Chip Cheesecake (Ha! Look at that… apparently one year ago to the day I was also in a chocolate orange cheesecake type mood!)
Two Years Ago: Citrus Zested Sugar Cookies
A creamy ricotta tart with Grand Marnier and orange zest in a cinnamon chocolate cookie crust.
- 1 cup finely ground chocolate graham cookies (ground in a food processor);I used Annie's Chocolate Bunny Grahams
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 1/2 teaspoon Vietnamese cinnamon
- 15 ounce container whole-milk ricotta
- 4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon table salt
- 3 large egg yolks
- 1 tablespoon finely grated orange zest
- 1 tablespoon orange-flavored liquer (such as Grand Marnier or Cointreau) or orange juice
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees with rack in the center of the oven.
- In medium bowl, combine the cookie crumbs, sugar and cinnamon. Mix well. Drizzle with melted butter and mix until crumbs are evenly moistened.
- Press crumb mixture over the bottom and halfway up the sides of a 10" tart pan, pressing firmly and making the crust as even as possible.
- Bake for 10 minutes. Cool on a rack as you make the filling.
- In a medium bowl, beat together the ricotta and cream cheese until no lumps remain using an electric mixer.
- Add the sugar, flour, and salt. Beat to combine, about 1 minute. Add the yolks, orange zest and liquer. Beat once more just until incorporated.
- Scrape the filling into the baked crust and spread evenly.
- Bake 30-35 minutes, until the center is just set and barely jiggles when nudged.
- Cool completely on a wire rack and then refrigerate for 2-3 hours until firm.
Adapted from Abby Dodge via Fine Cooking