Ricotta, Lemon Tarts with Pecan and Vanilla Base

, from Issue #70. December, 2016
Photography by Kelly Gibney.
Ricotta, Lemon Tarts with Pecan and Vanilla Base

These rustic hand-pressed tarts have a gorgeous lemon flavour and a biscuit-y nut crust. The centre is rather like cheesecake, though it is spared from being too heavy because of the lovely fresh lemon flavour.

Serves: 10 small tarts


¾ cup raw pecans
1½ cups almond meal
¾ cup dried dates, soaked in boiling water for 10 minutes, drained well
zest of 1 lemon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
300 grams ricotta (I used  Over The Moon)
125 grams cream cheese, cut into large cubes
½ cup coconut sugar
1 free-range egg
zest of 2 lemons
To serve 
fresh blueberries and raspberries


Preheat the oven to 160°C

Base: Add the pecans and almond meal to a food processor and blitz until the texture of coarse breadcrumbs. Add the dates, lemon zest and vanilla. Run the machine until the dates are well combined and the texture is quite even.

Press the mixture into 10 well-greased holes of a 12-hole muffin tin. Take your time doing this, it can be a little fiddly. Each tart case should have a thickness of roughly ½cm. I like to leave the top edge uneven and rustic but you can trim with a sharp knife if you prefer.

Bake for 10 minutes.

Filling: Add all the filling ingredients into a food processor and run until very smooth. Spoon into tart cases and use a thin spatula or back of a spoon to smooth the surface.

Bake for 20 minutes until lightly golden on top.

Leave to cool for 30 minutes before carefully removing from the tin. Use a knife to gently coax the tarts out if necessary.

Cool completely in the fridge before serving. Remove from the fridge 20 minutes before serving. Top with fresh berries.

Tarts will last 3 days in an airtight container in the fridge.