South African peach and spiced ricotta tart

Award-winning South African chef, Reuben Riffel  has developed a range of delicious recipes, using South African peaches and nectarines.

Serves: 8
Preparation time: 30 minutes (plus chilling)
Cooking time: 50 minutes

Ingredients:

3 South African peaches (or nectarines), halved and pitted
1 tbsp brown sugar
20ml water

For the shortcrust pastry;

115g butter, softened
75g caster sugar
1 egg yolk
¼ tsp vanilla extract
¼ tsp salt
185g plain flour, sifted

For the spiced ricotta;

450g ricotta
½ tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp ground ginger
¼ tsp ground cardamom
1 egg
40g caster sugar, plus extra for dusting

Serves: 8
Preparation time: 30 minutes (plus chilling)
Cooking time: 50 minutes

Method:

1. For the shortcrust pastry, beat butter and sugar in an electric mixer until pale and creamy (3-5 minutes). Add yolk, vanilla and salt, mix until just combined. Add flour, mix until just combined, wrap in cling film, pat into a flat, round disc. Refrigerate for 1 hour
2. Roll pastry between two sheets of baking paper to 3mm thick. Remove top layer of baking paper, invert into a 20cm (8 inch) diameter tart tin. Remove remaining baking paper and using your fingers, lightly press the pastry into the sides of the tin (do not worry if it is a bit crumbly). Trim edges to fit and refrigerate for 30 minutes
3. Preheat oven to 180ºC, fan 160ºC, gas mark 4. Make a cartouche (a circle of baking parchment) and line in the tart tin. Add some cereamic baking beans inside to weigh down the pastry and ‘blind bake’ (ie. without filling) until pale golden (about 15 minutes). Remove cartouche and bake until crisp (4-5 minutes). Cool on a wire rack
4. Meanwhile, combine nectarines, sugar and water in a bowl, toss to coat. Place nectarines, cut-side up, on a baking paper-lined tray and roast until soft and golden (10-12 minutes). When cool enough to handle, cut into wedges and set aside
5. For the spiced ricotta, beat ingredients in a large mixing bowl until smooth (1-2 minutes). Spoon into pastry case
6. Arrange nectarines on top, scatter with extra sugar and bake until just golden and firm to touch (20-25 minutes). Cool to room temperature before serving

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