Ricotta Jam Tart with Almond Crust

CRUST

1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup toasted almonds
3 tablespoons sugar
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
cold water

Grease a 9 inch tart pan with a removable bottom. In the bowl of the food processor, mix together the flour, almonds and sugar. Pulse until fine. Add the butter, pulsing briefly until it is worked into the flour and is the size of small peas. Add the egg, extract and a tablespoon of cold water, pulsing only long enough to make clumps and the dough sticks together. Add more cold water if necessary. Gather the dough into a ball.
Fit the dough into the tart pan, pressing into place. Chill for at least 1 and up to 12 hours.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Prick the inside of the crust with the tines of a fork. Bake for 15 minutes, check for bubbling and prick again with the tines of a fork if necessary. Bake for another 10 minutes, or until golden brown. Cool on a rack.

FILLING

1/2 cup Appleton Creamery sheep’s milk ricotta
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 tablespoons sugar or more or less to taste
1/3 cup whipping cream or 1/2 cup Marscapone)
1 1/2 cups softened jam (soft plum, Damson plum, fruit of your choice)
mint leaves for garnish
Whip the cream until it forms soft peaks. Puree the ricotta in the bowl of the food processor with the vanilla and sugar. Fold in the whipped cream( or marscapone). If desired, sweeten more to taste.
Spoon the filling into the tart shell. Spread the jam over the top and garnish with fresh mint leaves. Serve at room temperature

CHERYL’S NOTES: This recipe is has its source in Lynne Rossetto Kasper’s book, “The Italian Country Table.” For several years I have been making her Soft Plum Jam from my green gage plum harvest, and drooling over this tart recipe. Kasper notes, the key to this tart is the ricotta, and she says to be sure to get an artisan, not a factory, product or you will be sorely disappointed! I am so excited that Appleton Creamery is making ricotta, now I can prepare this delicious tart!!
The tart is best eaten right after it is filled. The baked shell can be stored wrapped in plastic in the refrigerator for several days

Goat Cheese Mousse with Mint Pesto

Serves 4

For Mint Pesto
2 C loosley packed mint leaves
3 oz. freshly grated parmesan cheese
1/4 C pine nuts (seasoned and toasted)
1/2 C olive oil

For Goat Cheese Mousse
8 oz. Appleton Creamery plain goat cheese
3/4 C lightly whipped heavy cream

Mint leaf for ganish
Crudites and slices of fresh baked bread as an accompaniment

Make the pesto: Combine the mint, parmesan and pine nuts in the food processor and process until finely chopped. With motor running, add olive oil, blending until smooth.

Make the goat cheese mousse: Process the goat cheese in the cleaned processor until smooth. Add the whipped cream and blend just until incorporated.

Spoon the pesto in the center of a platter. Place the mousse directly on top of the pesto so that you just see the green pesto oil around the perimeter of the mousse. Serve with the crudities and bread slices.