Friday, May 1, 2015

FFWD ~ Cheesecake Tart

FFWD ~ Cheesecake Tart

This week, at French Fridays, we are tackling our last dessert. I can’t believe this is it! Although the baking is done... I still have two desserts to post. But no more baking! After a four year journey the end is truly in sight.  This is where I insert a sad face!  

Spring has finally sprung… and our deck is the perfect place for a tea party

Cheesecakes are my “go to” dessert! I love dense, creamy NY style cheesecakes the best…my favorite being this Ricotta Cheesecake, which I posted a while back.  Although any cheesecake will do! I delight in desserts, and this was no exception. Dories’ tart pastry is delicious, and shortbread like. It adds such lovely texture to this creamy tart. The best part of Dorie’s pastry, it can be made in a food processor with little mess.  

For the cheesecake component, I used ricotta instead of cottage cheese. They have a similar consistency, and I had it in my fridge. Again, Dorie made this tart easy enough for an everyday dessert. All the ingredients, except the raisins, are put in the food processor, then poured into the partially baked crust, where the raisins have already been scattered. 

This was a perfect treat for afternoon tea or anytime! It’s not only pretty, but also quite delicious! Another winner in my house! Thanks Dorie! Happy Friday everyone!!  

To see what the other Doristas' thought of this tart, check it out here.

The baked crust with raisins scattered over it
Cheese mixture….ready to pour into the baked crust
Absolutely delectable
Wish you could join me…Happy Friday everyone!

Cheesecake Tart
by Dorie Greenspan “Around My French Table"

1 − 9 to 9½ Tart Shell…made with Sweet Tart dough partially baked and cooled
3 Tablespoons plump raisins (or other dried fruit chopped if necessary) 
3 Tablespoons cornstarch
3 Tablespoons milk
1¼ cups cottage cheese (drained in a cheesecloth-linedstrainer for 30 minutes) or 1⅓ cups fromage blanc
3 Tablespoons sour cream (if you’re using cottage cheese)
3 large egg yolks
3 Tablespoons sugar
pinch of salt
1-2 teaspoons vanilla
finely grated zest of ½ lemon

Apricot Jam, for glazing 
Confectioners sugar for dusting

Center a rack in the oven and pre-heat to 350°.   Line a baking sheet with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper,
put the tart shell on the baking sheet, and scatter the raisins over the bottom of the baked shell.

Put the cornstarch in a small bowl, pour in the milk, and stir to blend. The cornstarch will dissolve. Set aside.

If you’re using the cottage cheese, scrape the cottage cheese and sour cream into a food processor and whir for about 2 minutes, until smooth and silky. .Add the yolks and sugar and process for 1 more minute.  Add the salt, vanilla, zest and reserved milk mixture…pulse just to blend.  If you are using fromage blanc, omit the sour cream and use the food processor or simply whisk all the ingredients together in a bowl. Pour the filling into the crust.

Slide the baking sheet into the oven and bake the tart for 50 to 60 minutes or until the top is lightly browned and puffed all over (you want the center to puff, not just the sides). Transfer the baking sheet to a cooling rack and let the tart cool until it is slightly warm or at room temperature.

If you’d like to glaze the tart, warm the apricot jam with a splash of water in a microwave oven or a small saucepan.  When the jam liquefies, use a pastry brush to paint a very thin layer of the jam over the top of the tart. Alternatively, dust the cooled tart with confectioners’ sugar. 

Sweet Tart Dough

Makes one 9- to 9 1/2-inch crust

A word on rolling versus pressing: You can roll the crust out and fit it into the tart pan or just press it in. I roll the dough. Rolling gives you a thinner crust than pressing, so if you press, you might occasionally find yourself with a little filling left over.

  • 1 1/2 cups (204 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup (60 grams) confectioners' sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 9 tablespoons (4 1/2 ounces; 128 grams) very cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1 large egg yolk
To make the dough: Put the flour, confectioners' sugar and salt in a food processor and pulse a couple of times to blend. Scatter the pieces of butter over the dry ingredients and pulse until the butter is cut in coarsely--you'll have some pieces the size of oatmeal flakes and some the size of peas. Stir the yolk just to break it up and add it a little at a time, pulsing after each addition. When the egg is incorporated, process in long pulses--about 10 seconds each--until the dough, which will look granular soon after the egg is added, forms clumps and curds. Just before you reach this clumpy stage, the sound of the machine working the dough will change--heads-up. Turn the dough out onto a work surface.
To make a rolled-out crust: Shape the dough into a disk and put it between two sheets of parchment or wax paper. Roll the dough out evenly, turning it over frequently and lifting the paper often so that it doesn't roll into the dough and form creases. Aim for a circle that's at least 3 inches larger than the base of your tart pan. The dough will be 1/8 to 1/16 inch thick, but it's the diameter, not the thickness, that counts. Slide the rolled-out dough, still between the papers, onto a baking sheet or cutting board and refrigerate for 2 hours or freeze it for 1 hour. (The dough can be refrigerated overnight or frozen for up to 2 months; wrap it airtight to freeze.) 

When the dough is thoroughly chilled, put it on the counter and let it rest for about 10 minutes, or until it's just pliable enough to bend without breaking. Remove the dough from the paper, fit it into a buttered tart pan and trim the excess dough even with the edges of the pan. (If you'd like, you can fold the excess over and make a thicker wall around the sides of the tart.) Prick the crust all over with a fork and freeze for at least 30 minutes, preferably longer, before baking. 

To make a press-in crust: Butter the tart pan and press the dough evenly over the bottom and up the sides of the pan. You won't need all of the dough if you want to make a thin crust, but I think it's nice to make a thickish one so that you can really enjoy the texture. Press the pieces of dough in so that they cling to one another and will knit together when baked, but don't use a lot of force--working lightly will preserve the crust's shortbready texture. Prick the crust all over with a fork and freeze for at least 30 minutes, preferably longer, before baking.

When you're ready to bake: Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Butter the shiny side of a piece of aluminum foil (or use nonstick foil) and fit the foil snugly into the crust. If the crust is frozen, you can bake it as is; if not, fill it with dried beans or rice (which you can reuse as weights but won't be able to cook after they've been used this way).

To partially bake the crust: Bake for 25 minutes, then carefully remove the foil (and weights). If the crust has puffed, press it down gently with the back of a spoon. Transfer the crust to a cooling rack (keep it in its pan).

To fully bake the crust: Bake the crust for 25 minutes, then carefully remove the foil (and weights). If the crust has puffed, press it down gently with the back of a spoon. Bake the crust for another 7 to 10 minutes, or until it is firm and golden brown. Transfer the crust to a cooling rack (keep it in its pan).


  1. Sweet buttery crust with creamy smooth cheese amazing combination.

  2. Aw lovely really lovely cheescake Kathy!
    And I love yours cup of tea ! I love blue cups:)

  3. It's hard to believe this is our last dessert. So glad we could end with a winner!

  4. Ricotta, so you made the Italian version, my mother would love that. Lovely tart.

  5. Thank you for posting all the steps, Kathy, as I haven't made this yet and I LOVE to bake to pictures. Everyone is giving this a thumbs up so I am anxious to try it. Yours looks lovely and the ricotta cheese is a nice alternative. Beautiful.

  6. As always, it looks gorgeous, Kathy! I'll have to try it with ricotta as I was considering doing that myself! I wonder if using the different cheese will mitigate the slight graininess mine had. Thank you again for the book, Kathy, I'm going to use it this coming week for a meal!

  7. This looks just gorgeous Kathy - photos AND food! I am going to try this for guests this week! David

  8. What a great looking tart, Kathy! It sounds delicious with the great crust and filling and I want to try it. Pretty cups and saucers too!

  9. This is such a delicious dessert, I was really surprised. I love Dorie's sweet tart pastry, it reminds me
    of Breton cookies/cake flavors. Must be all the butter. I like your idea of using the ricotta cheese, I'm
    sure it was delicious. Have a great weekend.

  10. This crust is one of my favorite recipes in the book. Your tart looks delicious. As always, your dessert photos make me want to sit and share a cup of tea with you (and your dessert). I'm happy to know this works with ricotta when fromage blanc can't be found. (I have a strong aversion to cottage cheese.) Which desserts to you still have to make? I have a few, including the dreaded floating islands, but I'm not sure I'll get to them. Have a great weekend!

  11. Dear Kathy, It is so nice to be visiting with my friends again. I have been rather "mia" since my brother took ill. He is out of the hospital and stayed with me for a while. It will be a slow journey though. I am so grateful for the fact that he is with us and it is a blessing to be able to be there for him.
    This cheesecake looks wonderful. I wish I could have a cup of tea with you and a slice of this lovely cheesecake.
    xo Catherine

  12. I loved how simple this was to put together, but how elegantly it turned out. I really enjoyed this one and yours is (of course) beautiful!

  13. Kathy,hope you had a great start to the beautiful month of May - love your china and your cheesecake tart looks very elegant! Certainly makes me want to run out, buy more fromage blanc and bake it again!
    Have a nice Sunday,

  14. Now just look at your elegant cheesecake tart sitting pretty on those gorgeous blue and white plates - a beautiful sight indeed!

  15. I'm a New York cheesecake girl too. Nothing can compete with that creamy texture. I introduced my German nephews to it when we were in New York and they both loved it, but so far they are the only ones I've managed to convert.

  16. I love Dorie's sweet tart dough too. It comes out perfect every time. I also love cheesecake and your ricotta version sounds good too.

  17. I DO wish I could join you for afternoon tea and a slice of that delicious looking tart :-)

  18. This is so lovely and brilliant.. your tart looks so delish.

  19. Looks delicious Kahty! One more reason I really do need to learn to do my own pie crusts...