Tomat & Ricotta Almond Crust Tart

Tomat & Ricotta Almond Crust Tart

I have been wanting to try and make gluten free pastry for a long time now, however the idea of making and testing pastry over and over again in my spare time last year just didn't happen, nor did it appeal to me. With a new year and this pastry crust idea on my mind, I thought I really ought to give it a crack. And you know what, first time lucky. Boy am I glad I gave this pastry a go! It doesn't alway happen, but when things work out so gloriously the first time you test it, it really is quite exciting.

I based this recipe off an earlier post of mine- gluten free almond meal biscuits. Almond meal is a really versatile ingredient and can be substituted for flours when baking. Meal is basically almonds with their skins removed, ground into a course powder. Almond meal is a high protein, high mono-unsaturated fats, low carb version of flour. It's a very worth while ingredient in baking and it's uses are far more diverse than you may think. So this pastry crust recipe is gluten free so coeliacs and those who are sensitive to gluten can enjoy the crispy deliciousness of a good old tart!

I promise this really is one of the most straight forward recipes to make.  You can prepare it in advance as it is served chilled/room temperature so when you have guests over no standing in the kitchen building up a sweat. I'm all about doing things before your guests arrive when entertaining. It really is the perfect dish for summer entertaining! To make this beauty you will need-

INGREDIENTS
For the crust-
1 x 20cm fluted tart tin
1 1/2 cups almond meal
3 tbs olive oil
1 tbs water
1 tsp finely chopped chives
1/4 tsp garlic powder

For the filling-
350g ricotta cheese
1 tbs greek yoghurt
15g parmesan (reggiano if you can get it), finely grated
pinch salt and a little pepper

For the top-
2 punnets cherry tomatoes/grape tomatoes or baby heirloom tomatoes
1 tbs olive oil
Cracked pepper and sea salt
Handful basil

HOW IT'S DONE
Pre-heat your oven to 200 degrees Celsius.  Combine all ingredients for the tart in a mixing bowl until it combines together into a dough.  Using a 20 cm fluted pastry tin, press the dough into the tin until it is approx 1/2 cm thick and evenly pressed down. Prick the pastry with a fork to allow the air to escape. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until the pasrty is lovely and golden in colour. Keep an eye on it as the oven is at a high heat and the pastry can burn very quickly. Once cooked remove from the oven and let cool in the tin.

Turn the oven down to 120 and place the halved tomatoes cut side up onto a baking tray. Drizzle with a little olive oil and sprinkle with salt and cracked pepper. Roast in the oven for 40 minutes, or until the edges of the tomatoes begin to curl. You want them to keep their shape so they don't make a mess on top of the tart.

For the filling combine all ingredients together in a mixing bowl, stir until it is combined and is a smooth consistency. Very carefully take the tart out of the tin and fill the pastry with the ricotta filling. I like to use the back of a spoon to smooth out the filling.  Set aside.

Place the tart onto a serving platter and top with the roasted tomatoes.  Finish with the basil. Enjoy!
Photography by Andy Stavert

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