Carrots, Orange and Ricotta
I came up with the idea for this Carrot Tart with Orange and Ricotta on a particularly grey and rainy February day. I felt that I needed to make something that would bring a burst of colour and flavour into my life – and that is exactly what this Tart does. It uses ingredients found in the winter – carrots, orange, coriander – to liven up both your taste-buds and your table!
I love the natural sweetness of carrots, which is enhanced by sharp, citrus flavours. In this recipe I use the zest and juice of orange to bring out the sweet, earthy flavour of the carrots. The carrots are set on a pillow of creamy ricotta, flavoured with orange zest and coriander which adds a mouth-filling creaminess as a counterpoint to the sweet and sharp topping. Lemon is also a great flavour-enhancer for carrots as in Spiced Carrots with Honey and Lemon. If you like the flavour combinations in this Carrot Tart, I strongly recommend it.
As I felt a need to banish the greyness of February when I was making this recipe, I chose “heritage carrots” from my local greengrocer. You can make this Carrot Tart with any type of carrots. However, I would recommend buying the ones with the green fronds still attached as you know they are fresh and they generally have a lot more flavour. Carrots in a range of colours are now quite widely available and combining red, yellow and purple with orange will make your tart look particularly beautiful.Print
This Carrot Tart will bring zest to your taste-buds and your table. Beautiful, sweet, earthy carrots, flavoured with orange and coriander, set in creamy ricotta on a crisp pastry base will brighten up those grey winter days!
- 320 g frozen puff pastry
- 1 egg
- 150 g carrots
- Salt and pepper
- 125 g ricotta
- 50 g feta cheese
- 1 orange
- Small bunch of fresh coriander (finely chopped)
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
- Set your oven to 200 degrees C/gas mark 6.
- Roll the frozen pasty into square or rectangle. Using a sharp knife, cut it into four evenly sized squares or rectangles. Cut a 1 cm strip of pastry around the edge of each of the squares or rectangles.
- Break and whisk the egg. Using a pastry brush, paint the beaten egg around the edge of each square or rectangle. Place the strips of pastry around the edge of each square or rectangle. These will form the “walls” around each of your tarts.
- Put the pastry squares or rectangles onto a baking sheet.
- Prepare the carrots either by peeling them or scrubbing them to remove any dirt. If they are large, cut each one in half lengthwise. Place the prepared carrots in a saucepan of boiling salted water and simmer for around 10 minutes. You want them to be slightly softened but not fully cooked. Remove the carrots from the saucepan and run under cold water to cool them enough so they can be easily handled.
- While the carrots are cooking, mash together the ricotta and feta in a medium-sized bowl. Add the grated zest of the orange and the finely chopped coriander. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Spread the cheese mixture onto each of your four pastry squares or rectangles.
- Arrange the carrots on top of the cheese mixture on each of the four pastry squares or rectangles.
- Put the tarts into the oven and cook for about 15 minutes until the pastry is crisp and golden.
- While the tarts are cooking, put the juice of your orange, sugar and balsamic vinegar in a small pan. Cook gently uncovered until the liquid has reduced by half. This will form a glaze for the tarts which will add flavour and also give them an attractive sheen!
- When the tarts are cooked, remove them from the oven and paint the glaze over the carrot topping.
- The tarts can be eaten either hot or cold. If you are planning to eat them cold, place on a baking rack to cool so that the pastry remains crisp.