James Street South Cookery School: A sweet ricotta and a savoury vegetable tart

Niall's ricotta tart is a sweet treat – serve as a summer dessert or with a cup of coffee

THIS week we have two tart recipes to choose from, with two very distinctly different flavours. As we are making use of both filo and puff pastry, it’s always a good idea to have both in the freezer as they are so versatile.

The puff pastry tart is savoury and is great for using up any odds and ends in the fridge, while the filo tart is a sweet dessert, perfect to serve as a summer dessert or with a cup of coffee.

Whether you make one or the other, we promise you won’t regret it and it’ll be better than any shop-bought tart.


(Serves 8)

50g butter

4 sheets filo pastry

500g ricotta cheese, crumbled

120g caster sugar

5 eggs, separate yolk form white

150g orange and lemon zest,

50g chocolate, 70 per cent cocoa, chopped

This is a sweet tart and would be best served as a dessert or with morning coffee. Start by preheating the oven to 180C. Melt the butter on a gentle heat on the hob. Grease the inside of a large flan tin – 25-28cm is good – with a little soft butter. Line the tin with the filo pastry sheets, brushing with the butter so they stick together. Leave any overhang outside the tin.

Place the ricotta into a bowl and crumble with a fork. Add in the sugar, egg yolk, zest and chopped chocolate and mix well. In a second bowl beat the egg whites into stiff peaks, then fold in the ricotta mix one spoon at a time. I tend to use a metal spoon when doing this as it does help with the technique.

Try not to beat too much as you still want the mix to be airy. Place the filling into the filo pastry case and then fold over the overhanging pastry.

Place in a preheated oven for 30 minutes, checking it is cooked in the centre using a knitting needle or skewer. If it comes out clean mix is cooked; leave to cool for a few minutes, slice and serve.



(Serves 4)

1 red pepper, chopped and deseeded

2 plum tomatoes

1 white onion, chopped

¼ aubergine, sliced, skin on

1 red chilli, chopped and deseeded

2 cloves garlic, grated

2 tablesp olive oil

1 tablesp unsalted butter



4 leaves basil

200g puff pastry

Start by chopping all the ingredients and deseeding the red pepper and chilli. Preheat the oven 220C. Place all the chopped vegetables including the red pepper, onion, aubergine and chilli on to a baking tray, drizzle with olive oil and roast for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven but leave the oven on but reduce to 200C.

In a small frying pan melt the butter, add in the garlic and mix; place all the cooked vegetables including the tomatoes into the butter; season with salt and pepper. Roll out your pastry, ensuring that it is at least 1cm thick, and place on top of the vegetables, tucking the edging into the pan. Make an incision in the middle to let the steam escape. Place in the oven and cook for 20 minutes at 200C .

Remove from oven and leave to cool. When ready to serve place plate on top and turn over. Serve with chopped basil leaves.

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