Fresh Tomato Ricotta Tart is a luscious creamy Ricotta-based tart topped with flavorful garden-fresh tomatoes and baked in a flaky puff pastry crust. It’s a snap to make and is a delicious way to use the bright red tomatoes from your garden. Pair it with a salad for a perfect light dinner during these hot summer days.
Ingredients: Here’s What You’ll Need
- The Tart Shell: For the tart shell, I used store-bought puff pastry sheets.
- The Ricotta Creamy Filling: The Ricotta creamy filling included Ricotta cheese (Homemade), Mozzarella cheese, Parmesan cheese, Olive oil, fresh garlic, and freshly ground black pepper.
- The Tomatoes: For the tomatoes, I used fresh Campari tomatoes primarily because of their small size and taste. I wanted to use a smaller tomato to that the shingling over the filling would more decorative.
- The Garnish: I used fresh basil cut using the Chiffonade method.
Why You Should Make Your Own Ricotta Cheese:
I know that this post is about making a delicious Tomato Tart. However, I feel so strongly that homemade Ricotta cheese is the only way to go, that I’m including how easy it is to make.
If you think that making your own Ricotta cheese is difficult, think again. It uses four ingredients – Whole milk, heavy cream, Kosher salt, and white wine vinegar – and takes less than 45 minutes from start to finish.
You could also use just whole milk in place of the cream and milk and lemon juice in place of the white wine vinegar.
- To start, combine the milk, cream, and salt in a large pan, and bring it to a full boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally.
- When the milk/cream reaches a boil, remove the pan from the heat, and stir in the vinegar.
- After a minute, the acid in the vinegar causes the proteins in the milk/cream to coagulate and creates what looks like a dairy version of scrambled eggs. If you remember Little Miss Muffet who sat on her tuffet eating her curds and whey, it was the acid that caused the curds and whey to separate!
- When the curds have formed pour the mixture into a cheesecloth-lined wire strainer and let it sit for 20 to 25 minutes. During this time, the whey drains off and you’re left with an amazing homemade Ricotta cheese that has a superior texture and taste to anything you can buy in the grocery store.
Preparing the Puff Pastry So That It Doesn’t Shrink During Cooking
If not handled correctly, puff pastry like other pastries tends to shrink down the sides of your tart or pie pan during cooking. Three simple techniques will prevent this from occurring.
- First, put the pastry-lined pan in the freezer for about 30 minutes before baking it.
- Second, after 30 minutes pierce the pastry all over with a fork and press a crumpled piece of parchment paper onto the pastry. Then fill the pastry with dried beans or pastry weights up to the top of the sides.
- Third, bake the pastry in a hot oven (400°F) for about 25 minutes to set the sides and bottom. After 25 minutes, remove the parchment paper and weights, and bake the puff pastry for an additional 10 minutes. The result – perfect pastry every time!
Making the Fresh Tomato Ricotta Tart in Puff Pastry
- While the pastry was baking, I cut the tomatoes into ¼-inch slices. I placed the tomatoes on paper towels, sprinkled salt on the top, and let them sit for about 30 minutes. The reason for doing this was to remove excess moisture from the tomatoes.
- After 30 minutes, I blotted the tomatoes with additional paper towels.
- While the tomatoes were sitting, I made the creamy Ricotta base. I combined the Ricotta cheese, Mozzarella cheese, Parmesan cheese, garlic, olive oil, and pepper in a bowl.
- Once the pastry and the tomatoes were ready, I spread the creamy Ricotta base on the bottom of the crust.
- Then, starting on the outside, I layered the tomatoes in overlapping circles over the filling. I continued the overlapping circles of tomatoes until the whole tart was covered.
- Finally, I drizzled some olive oil mixed with minced garlic on top.
I baked the tart in a preheated 375°F oven for about 25 minutes. After 25 minutes, the creamy Ricotta filling was bubbly, and the tart was perfectly cooked.
Before serving the tart, I sprinkled some fresh basil on top. I served it as a light dinner with a salad. It was delicious. Yum!
Frequently Asked Questions
Feel free to substitute different tomatoes for the Campari tomatoes in this recipe. I would, however, recommend that whatever tomatoes you choose should be on the small size like Campari tomatoes because of the visual appearance.
With the Campari tomatoes that I used sliced to ¼-inch, I got 4 to 5 slices from each tomato. I ended up using a total of 17 tomato slices. This will vary depending on the size of the tomato that you use
Using homemade Ricotta cheese is a personal preference. My view is that store-bought Ricotta cheese is nasty in terms of both texture and taste and therefore would not use it. If you ever move to making your own Ricotta cheese, you’ll never use store-bought again.
Honestly, I think this is a myth. I have successfully made Ricotta cheese using both ultra-pasteurized milk and ultra-pasteurized cream and have detected no difference at all compared to using regular pasteurized milk/cream.
The leftovers are delicious. They can be served cold or warmed in the oven.
For another delicious savory tart, you should try my Three Cheese Zucchini Tart.
This is an update from the July 22, 2018 post. I’ve updated the recipe, photos, and text, and added a short video showing how to make this amazing Fresh Tomato Ricotta Tart in Puff Pastry.
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Fresh Tomato Ricotta Tart in Puff Pastry
- 1 sheet of puff pastry, thawed
- 4 to 6 fresh tomatoes (See Tip 1)
- ½ teaspoon Kosher salt
- ½ cup Ricotta cheese, homemade if possible (See Tip 2)
- ½ cup (2-ounces) shredded Mozzarella cheese
- ½ cup (2-ounces) grated Parmesan cheese
- ⅛ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 2 cloves garlic minced, divided
- 1 Tablespoon fresh basil chopped for garnish, optional
- Preheat oven to 400°F.
- Roll puff pastry to 11-inch square on floured surface. Fit into a 9-inch round tart pan with removable bottom; trim pastry. Prick the bottom all over with a fork. Place in freezer for 30 minutes.
- Line pastry with crumpled parchment paper filled with dried beans or other pie weights. Bake for 25 minutes in preheated 400°F oven. Remove from oven; remove parchment paper and dried beans or weights. Return to oven for an additional 10 minutes to crisp up. Let cool 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, slice tomatoes ¼-inch thick; spread the tomatoes out over several layers of paper towels. Sprinkle with salt and let drain for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, gently blot the tops of the tomatoes dry with paper towels before using.
- In a small bowl, whisk together 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and 1 clove of minced garlic; set aside.
- In a separate bowl, mix together the Ricotta cheese, Mozzarella cheese, Parmesan cheese, pepper, remaining clove of minced garlic and remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil.
- Reduce oven heat to 375° F.
- Spread the Ricotta mixture evenly over the bottom of the cooled tart shell. Shingle the tomatoes in overlapping circles on top of the Ricotta mixture. Drizzle the garlic and olive oil mixture evenly over the tomatoes.
- Bake the tart in a preheated 375°F oven until the cheese is bubbling and the tomatoes are slightly wilted, 20 to 25 minutes.
- Allow the tart cool slightly on a wire rack for 5 minutes; sprinkle with the basil. Remove the tart from the tart pan and transfer to a serving platter or cutting board. (See Tip 3)
- Yield: 6 servings. (See Tip 4)
- I prefer to use small tomatoes, about 2 ½ to 3-inches in diameter. I think that they make a prettier presentation than larger tomatoes.
- To make homemade Ricotta cheese, combine 4 cups of whole milk, 2 cups of heavy cream, and 1 teaspoon of Kosher salt in a non-reactive pan. Bring to a boil over medium heat. When the liquid reaches a boil, remove the pan from the heat and stir in 3 tablespoons of white wine vinegar. Allow to sit for 1 minute. Pour into a cheesecloth lined wire strainer and allow to drain for 20 to 25 minutes. Yield: 2 cups of Ricotta cheese.
- I like to place the tart in pan over a small bowl after I remove the tart from the oven. This allows the rim to easily drop down leaving the tart on the bottom part of the pan.
- This tomato tart is delicious served hot, warm and even at room temperature.