It’s National Honey Month.
That gives me good reason to play in the kitchen with the thick, golden sweet
Finally, after several tries
with a Honey Tart, I have one that I feel I can share with you.
Ricotta cheese is the base
for the filling, sweetened with honey and brightened a bit with grated lemon
zest. You may be most familiar with ricotta layered into your favorite lasagna.
But this Italian cheese, made from the whey drained from cheeses such as
mozzarella and provolone, is very adaptable. Its mild, slightly sweet flavor
lends well to dessert-type dishes, also. Its texture is thick and creamy, like
a grainy sour cream. I use ricotta to make a sweet filling for my Hungarian
pancakes that I roll up and bake in the oven. That filling is the inspiration
for this honey tart.
This honey-sweetened ricotta
mixture is baked in a shortbread-type pat-in-the-pan crust flavored with a hint
of ginger. Served with some of the Hint
of Autumn Peach-Plum compote in my entry to this blog on September 11th,
it is quite divine – for breakfast or dessert. Use any seasonal fresh fruit or
make a fruit sauce using frozen berries. I’m going to heat up some of the
Scandinavian Delights Apricot Spread that I have in my refrigerator and drizzle
that over my next slice of Honey Tart. And after that, maybe some homemade dark
chocolate sauce with whipped cream. You’ll find yourself experimenting with all
kinds of toppings, because this Honey Tart is very friendly. Let me know what
you discover to be your favorite adornment on this lovely tart.
I baked the Honey Tart in a
9-inch tart pan with a removable bottom. I had about ½ cup of filling that just
wouldn’t fit into the tart crust, so I baked it in a buttered custard cup right
along side the tart in the oven. It was done baking at the same time the tart
was ready to take out of the oven. Cooled in the cup for a short time, the
crustless filling easily turned out onto a dessert dish. The filling recipe
makes about 3 cups, so if you want individual Honey Puffs, use 6 little ½-cup
custard cups and bake them at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes, or until set.
This really is the perfect
dessert for those who want something that’s not too sweet. It’s a little bit of
honey that you’ll eat right up.
- 1¼ cups all-purpose flour
- ½ cup pecan halves
- 3 tablespoons powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 9 tablespoons (1 stick plus
1 tablespoon) cold butter, cut into small chunks
- 1 to 2 tablespoons cold
In a food processor, whirl
the flour, pecans, powdered sugar, ginger and salt. Cut butter into 1 to 2
tablespoon pieces and, with the machine running, add the pieces to the
processor, one at a time. Add 1 tablespoon of water and process until a ball of
dough forms on top of the blade. If the mixture seems too dry, add a bit more
water, just a little at a time.
Without a food processor,
chop the pecans into very fine pieces and mix with flour, powdered sugar,
ginger and salt in a large mixing bowl. Cut cold butter into small pieces and
add to flour mixture. Cut the butter in with a pastry blender or two table
knives. Mix in water, a little at a time, until dough feels like a cookie dough
that you would roll into balls. Bring dough together with hands to form a disk.
Pat the dough into the
bottom and up the sides of a 9-inch tart pan with removable bottom. You could
also use a springform pan, bringing the crust part way up the sides of the pan.
Freeze the crust for 10 minutes. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees while the
crust is in the freezer.
Remove crust from freezer,
prick the bottom several times with a fork, and bake at 425 degrees for 10
minutes or until crust turns golden. Set aside to cool while preparing the
filling. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees.
- 1 (15-ounce) container
- 3 eggs
- ½ cup honey
- Grated zest of 1 lemon
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose
- 1/3 cup sugar
Combine all filling
ingredients and pour into tart crust or 6 (½-cup) custard cups that have been
Bake at 350 degrees for
about 30 minutes, or until filling is set in the middle.
Serve with Hint of Autumn
Peach-Plum Compote or any of your favorite toppings.
- Place a large baking sheet
on the rack under the tart while it is baking, just in case there are any
- Sometimes I can find
Scandinavian Delights fruit spreads at the grocery store with all the jams and
jellies. When I travel out of town, I’m always on the look-out for it. Many
years ago I stayed at a Bed and Breakfast in Minneapolis. The proprietor served Scandinavian
Delights Apricot Spread with her homemade waffles. It was love at first bite.
I’ve been eating it ever since.