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Orange, Ricotta and Almond Tart
Orange, Ricotta and Almond Tart
(Crostata di Ricotta, Mandorla e Arancia)
 
 
Ingredients:
 
For the Tart:
1 and 1/2 cups (6 oz) blanched slivered almonds
6 large eggs
1 and 1/2 lbs well drained ricotta cheese (3 cups)
1/2 cup sugar
Grated zest of 2 large oranges
1/4 cup orange liqueur
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

For the Topping:
Zest of 3 large oranges
1 cup water
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup (4 oz) Creme Fraiche liquor
Fresh mint leaves for garnish
 
Directions:
 
Pre-heat oven to 350 F.

Spread almonds on a cookie sheet and bake until light brown.
 
Remove and set on a rack to cool.

Reduce oven temperature to 325 F.

Grind almonds into a fine meal in a bowl or food processor.

Add the eggs, ricotta, sugar, orange zest, orange liquor, vanilla and nutmeg. Process until well mixed, smooth, and fluffy.

Butter a 9 or 10 inch quiche dish or a glass or ceramic pie plate (you could also use a tart pan with a removable bottom).

Pour the batter into the dish, filling almost to the top of the pan.
 
Transfer to the oven and bake for 1 hour. The tart will puff up while baking.
 
Remove and place on a rack to cool for 1 hour.
 
Set aside and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

For the topping, peel the zest from the oranges and cut into long, very thin strips. Be careful to remove only the peel and not the white pith underneath.

Combine the water and sugar in a small saucepan.
 
Bring to a simmer over low heat, add orange zest and cook slowly for 1 hour. If syrup becomes too dry add a little more water.
 
Turn off heat and add cinnamon stick. Set aside.

Just before serving time, remove the candied orange zest from the syrup and shake off the excess syrup. Reserve syrup and set aside.

Place 1 tablespoon of sugar on a piece of waxed paper.

Place the zest on the sugar an toss well to coat with sugar.

Place orange rind on the top of the tart and distribute evenly over the tart.

To serve, cut the tart into wedges.
 
Place on serving plates, top with a dollop of Creme Frauche, and drizzle a teaspoon of the reserved syrup on top.

Garnish with mint leaves. Serves 6.
 
That's it!
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