Pies, Tarts, and Crostatas – usually, when I think of pies and tarts they’re filled with something sweet and fruity, chocolate, or other lusciously sweet concoction. That’s part of why I was so excited to be a judge at the American Pie Council National Championships this year. I mean, who wouldn’t want to sit and eat pie for two days? I learned very quickly that you should NOT pick your favorite kind of pie to judge. Why? Because after more than 30 cherry pies (including gluten-free and no sugar added) I think it’s going to be a very long time before I’ll want another cherry pie again. It was really inspirational to see all of those beautiful pies – some were works of art. I don’t usually make pies so I was searching pies and tarts when I came across this pin for Creamy Herbed Ricotta and Asparagus Puff Pastry Tart by Michelle of The Brooklyn Cook. Ooh, a SAVORY option!
I hadn’t really thought of savory for pies except for pot pies. There was something very fresh and light looking about this one so I knew I wanted to try it.
The ingredients were pretty simple and using puff pastry made the crust a breeze. The only down side is that I couldn’t find fresh for all of the herbs so I decided to use the 1:3 ration and substitute dried herbs. More about that later.
First, mix the ricotta mixture.
Then score the puff pastry around all of the sides. This will help give the crust its edges when it bakes.
Spread the ricotta mixture inside the scored part of the crust.
Lay the asparagus on top of the ricotta. The recipe called for 1/2 pound of asparagus, trimmed, which is what I used. I suggest using thinner asparagus and perhaps a bit more.
Brush the edges with an egg wash.
Bake it until the crust is a beautiful golden brown and the ricotta mixture is cooked through.
This is listed as an appetizer, but it would also make a nice vegetarian lunch or dinner dish with a salad.
The HH and I both thought it was a bit too herby for our taste. This could be because I used dry herbs rather than fresh, so the next time I’ll definitely use fresh and maybe add just a touch of lemon juice or zest into the ricotta mixture. Lemon and asparagus play so nicely together. I will also use more asparagus and alternate every other one so that there will be tips on both sides, and I’ll also try to measure the cut by the width of the pastry if possible.
After you’ve had your appetizer or dinner, go ahead and have some pie for dessert! Here are a few pie pictures from the competition. If you’re not up for entering a pie, the American Pie Council is always looking for judges. Like I said, it’s a tough job but somebody’s got to do it.
Overall Results: 4.3 Pins
Accuracy: The recipe looked just like the original post. Usually you can use the 3 (fresh) to 1 (dried) ratio for herbs, but in this case the “herbiness” was overwhelming when using dried. I wasn’t able to get the fresh herbs but looking at the quantity of fresh herbs in the photos of the original post leaves me to believe that fresh would still be very herby. 4 Pins
Difficulty: This doesn’t take a lot of cullinary skill. You do have to trim the ends of the asparagus so there is a bit of knife work. However, it’s rather minimal so I’m giving this 4 Pins.
Time: Start to finish this took just under half an hour and is a great weeknight meal or a quick appetizer. 5 Pins
Cost: Puff pastry and asparagus are the two most expensive ingredients in this recipe. Even so, the total cost was roughly $16. There were 4 entrée-sized portions or $4/serving. You can cut that in half for 8 appetizers. This cost could be higher if you bought fresh herbs at the grocery store (or free if you have an herb garden). 4 Pins
Practicality: This is a lovely idea for an appetizer, side dish, or even as a vegetarian entrée. You can adjust the amount and kinds of herbs used to suit your taste. (I’m definitly going to try some lemon, too) You can even switch up the veggies used if you don’t care for asparagus. The options are pretty open on this one so I’m giving this 5 Pins.