The recipe is rather straightforward. I paired up the apples with ricotta because they both go well together. Also, ricotta has an interesting texture and mouthfeel that may or may not float everyone's boat. I think ricotta cheese has an unusual texture. It kind of has a rough feeling on the tongue and isn't very smooth and creamy like cream cheese for instance. So when it bakes up in this recipe, while it does stay cohesive, it seems to break apart in your mouth. The reason why it works well with the apple pie on top is because I layered the apple slices and when these bake, they aren't a single entity either. So everything breaks apart in your mouth with a single bite. I wonder if this description makes any sense?
Overall, this is an interesting dessert. It's certainly different. The taste is there. The flavor is there. But I only recommend this recipe if you like the texture and mouthfeel of ricotta cheese. So if this is right down your alley, let's get started...
Recipe Adapted from Berry Lovely
Ingredients for one 10-inch tart
1 refrigerated ready-made pie crust
1.5 lbs Granny Smith Apples
1 lemon (juice of whole lemon and zest of whole lemon)
15 oz whole milk ricotta cheese
2 large eggs
7 tsp white sugar (or 2tbsp + 1tsp)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
6 tsp brown sugar (or 2tbsp)
1 tsp cinnamon
2 tbsp unsalted butter, cut into very small pieces
1) Preheat the oven to 400F.
2) Zest one whole lemon. Set aside. Juice one whole lemon into a large bowl and set aside.
3) Peel apples and slice. Throw into the same bowl with lemon juice. Add brown sugar and cinnamon. Toss and set aside.
4) Grease tart pan and cover with refrigerated pie crust. Don't be afraid to push down on the dough to cover the bottom and the sides of the pan.
5) Poke holes into the crust and refrigerate.
6) In another bowl, combine white sugar, eggs, vanilla, lemon zest, and ricotta. Mix until blended.
7) Remove tart crust from the refrigerator. Pour in ricotta mixture. Arrange the apple slices on top of the ricotta mixture, starting from the outside and working your way into the middle. Pour remaining lemon/brown sugar mixture on top. Dot the tart with butter.
8) Place tart in the middle of the oven and bake for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, reduce the oven temperature to 350F and bake for an additional 30 minutes. The apples will be caramelized and brown when done. And a toothpick should come out clean with poked into the center of the tart.
9) Allow the tart to cool to room temperature before eating. Store leftovers in the refrigerator.