Miniature Ricotta Tarts: Tartellette di Ricotta
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Pour the milk into a small saucepan and add the lemon zest. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Remove from the heat.
In the bowl of an electric stand mixture fitted with a paddle, combine the egg yolks and 2 tablespoons sugar. Beat until fluffy and pale yellow, about 5 minutes. Add the yolk mixture to the milk mixture in the saucepan. Return the saucepan to the heat and bring to a boil, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until the mixture is homogenous. Remove from heat.
Use a lightly floured rolling pin to roll out the pastry dough until it is 1/8-inch thick. Use the butter to lightly grease 12 miniature tart pans. With a 3 1/2 to 4-inch round pastry cutter, cut the dough into 12 equally sized circles and gently lay the dough into the prepared tart pans, making sure that the dough lies flush against the bottom and sides. Blind bake the dough: place small squares of parchment paper in each tart pan, top with some dried beans, place the tart pans on a large baking sheet and bake until golden brown, about 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool completely before dividing the ricotta filling evenly among the tart crusts. Serve at room temperature.Pastry dough:
1/4 cup light white wine (recommended: Fiano del Avellino)
3/4 cup warm water
1 1/2 ounces yeast
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon salt mixed with 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
In a large bowl, combine wine, water and yeast and stir until dissolved. Add the honey, salt and olive oil and mix thoroughly. Add 1 cup of flour and mix with a wooden spoon until it becomes a loose batter. Add 2 more cups of flour and stir with the spoon for another 2 to 3 minutes, to incorporate as much of the flour as possible.
Bring the dough together with your hands and turn it out onto a floured board or marble surface. Knead for about 6 to 8 minutes, until you have made a firm, smooth dough. Place it in a clean, lightly oiled bowl and cover it with a towel. Let it rise in the warmest part of the kitchen for 45 minutes.
Recipe courtesy Mario Batali