I love baking for the holidays. Not the sort that feels like it’s about to go down, or like you’ll be drowning in food coloring and sprinkles.
This is a sponsored post in partnership with the California Walnut Board. All words and opinions are our own. Thank you for supporting the brands that help us do what we do!
We just had our first snowfall here and Seattle and for the first time in years, it actually feels like the Christmas is almost here! I’ve gone above and beyond my own expectations in terms of decorating: we have a wreath, a green garland wrapped around our staircase rail (inspired by The Faux Martha), and plenty of greenery in every nook and cranny of house. Last weekend, we went to pick out our tree from the local lot. All of it is making me feel giddy.
Tradition is something that I care pretty deeply about — not in a religious or spiritual way, but from the perspective of feeling like I could look forward to my favorite things every year. My family has never been one to host cookie baking parties or spend an evening wrapping gifts. If you’ve been reading Turntable Kitchen long enough you may know that I grew up celebrating the Russian New Year, often feeling embarrassed about being a Jewish kid with a tree that looked a lot like a Christmas tree. But, over the years, I’ve gotten older and wiser — and I married Matt, whose family makes Christmas a BIG deal.
So now, I have what I’ve kind of always wanted: a good reason to make a lot of traditions. Now, we always have a mixed-background tree, which we try to keep through January 1st. I try to remember to light the menorah for Hannukah, which, this year, happens to start on the same day as Christmas (bless!).
More than anything, I love baking for the holidays. Not the sort that feels like it’s about to go down, or like you’ll be drowning in food coloring and sprinkles. Just the sort that gives me more reason to try out my various baking dishes, pans, and ramekins. This year is no exception.
Growing up, I’ve never been a fan of pie. Instead, my mom and I have always preferred the French tart. I have so many fond memories of visiting little cafes with my mom, always ordering an apple tart, but sometimes the lemon. Those memories are what led me to dream up today’s recipe: a ricotta-lime tart in a walnut crust. As you may have guessed, it’s a twist on the more recognizable lime tart, but I think you’ll like it more.
First, if you didn’t already know, nut-based tart shells are the BOMB. Walnuts are delicious on their own but ground up and mixed with butter and a little flour, they make an excellent tart crust that’s rich, crumbly, and so dang delicious you’ll want to basically just eat it up all on its own.
Second, ricotta whipped up with citrus juice and zest is heavenly. I will admit that while I was making these tarts, I kind of spooned a few bites straight into my mouth. The beauty of this tart filling is that you don’t have to bake it! And you don’t need to worry about making custards or burning sugar, or any of that stuff. These tarts are semi-raw, meaning that the shells are baked but the filling is not. If you like your filling a little firmer, simply stick these babies back in the fridge for a few hours or overnight.
I don’t know what you are planning for Christmas, but I will say that these are the perfect sweet treat to top off a heavy and decadent meal.
Ricotta-Lime Tarts in Miracle Walnut Crust
makes 5 tarts, depending on the size of your tart pans
For the walnut crust:
2 1/2 cups of walnut meal (pulverized walnuts)
1/2 cup of whole wheat flour
1 stick of salted butter
For the ricotta-lime filling:
1 cup of ricotta cheese
1 tablespoon of lime zest, plus more for garnish
1 tablespoon of lime juice
3 tablespoons of honey*, plus more for garnish
1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract
*If your honey is quite thick, you can always warm it up in a small sauce pot to make it runnier.
1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Grease 5 tart pans.
2. Combine the walnut meal and butter in a food processor. Process until combined, then add in the flour and pulse until you have a very soft dough (don’t worry that it’s sticky and soft).
3. Press the dough into your tart pans using your fingers and place them in the fridge for a minimum of 1 hour.
4. Transfer the tart shells to a baking sheet and bake for approximately 25 minutes (or until golden). Let the tart shells cool while you prepare your filling.
5. Combine the ricotta, lime zest, juice, vanilla extract, and honey in a food processor. Puree until smooth, then spoon into cooled walnut tart shells.
6. Top the tarts with a bit of lime zest and drizzle with honey. Tarts can be refrigerated for a day or two.
This is a sponsored post in partnership with the California Walnut Board. All words and opinions are our own. Thank you for supporting the brands that help us do what we do!Print this recipe