Creamy Herbed Ricotta and Asparagus Puff Pastry Tart

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!

Pintesting Creamy Herbed Ricotta and Asparagus Puff Pastry Tart

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 Pintesting:

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.
Pintesting Creamy Herbed Ricotta and Asparagus Puff Pastry Tart
First, mix the ricotta mixture.
Pintesting Creamy Herbed Ricotta and Asparagus Puff Pastry Tart
 Then score the puff pastry around all of the sides. This will help give the crust its edges when it bakes.
Pintesting Creamy Herbed Ricotta and Asparagus Puff Pastry Tart
 Spread the ricotta mixture inside the scored part of the crust.
Pintesting Creamy Herbed Ricotta and Asparagus Puff Pastry Tart
 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.
Pintesting Creamy Herbed Ricotta and Asparagus Puff Pastry Tart
 Brush the edges with an egg wash.
Pintesting Creamy Herbed Ricotta and Asparagus Puff Pastry Tart
Bake it until the crust is a beautiful golden brown and the ricotta mixture is cooked through.
Pintesting Creamy Herbed Ricotta and Asparagus Puff Pastry TartThis is listed as an appetizer, but it would also make a nice vegetarian lunch or dinner dish with a salad.
Pintesting Creamy Herbed Ricotta and Asparagus Puff Pastry Tart
 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.
Pintesting Creamy Herbed Ricotta and Asparagus Puff Pastry Tart
Pintesting Creamy Herbed Ricotta and Asparagus Puff Pastry Tart
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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.
2017 Pro Cream Pie Category Pies

The Pintesting Results:

Overall Results: 4.3 Pins
Pintesting Seal 4 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
 Pintesting Rating - 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.
 Pintesting Rating - 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
 Pintesting Rating - 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
 Pintesting Rating - 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.
 Pintesting Rating - 5 Pins

Mini Peach Cobblers

My husband loves peach cobbler. It’s one of his all time favorite desserts. When I saw this pin for Mini Peach Cobblers, I knew I had to make it for him. I’m very fortunate and blessed to have such a wonderful man to call my husband, and love to spoil him in little ways like this. Much of my love comes from the kitchen. Last week he had a rough work day, so we had pan-seared scallops and steak for supper with steamed veggies and a Greek salad. On a Tuesday – just because. He felt the love.

My wonderful husband spoils me by cleaning the house. The man is gifted at cleaning. I mean, he puts Mr. Clean to shame. He can do in one hour what takes me all morning. So tell me, who wouldn’t make peach cobbler for the man who cleans? That ‘s what I thought. He was very excited about this pin test, so let’s get to it.

The original pin was by Melissa from Sugar Derby, who was guest posting on Alli’s blog, Alli-N-Son.

http://www.alli-n-son.com/2011/06/02/mini-peach-cobblers/

http://www.alli-n-son.com/2011/06/02/mini-peach-cobblers/

The Pintesting:

The ingredients called for a can of diced peaches. Melissa tells a funny story regarding this difficult-to-find ingredient, but I had no problem finding them at my grocer.

Ingredients

First I mixed the dry ingredients and combined with the milk until smooth. Melissa says to use a wooden spoon. I used a whisk and the results were perfect.

Mix until Smooth

I added the melted butter to the muffin pans, then topped with the batter.

Melted butter and batter in muffin cups

Next came the peaches, followed by a sprinkle of brown sugar and cinnamon.

Add peaches then sprinkle

The amount of brown sugar and cinnamon was omitted and left to the discretion of the cook. I did half with a lighter sprinkle and half with a heavy “sprinkle” to see if there would be a noticeable difference. We couldn’t taste a difference, but noticed that the cobblers with a more generous sprinkle were more nicely browned when baked.

I should note that the recipe yields 12 minis, but I had quite a bit of leftover melted butter and batter. I would recommend using 4-6 TBS of butter rather than the whole stick, and evenly divide up any additional batter.

Leftover butter & batter

I baked in a 350 degree pre-heated oven and set the timer for 12 minutes. Nothing was mentioned about using a convection oven, so I went with the conventional oven setting.

Bake

After 12 minutes the cobblers didn’t look quite done, so I gave them another 5 minutes. That seemed to do the trick.

Almost then Done

The directions say to let them cool almost completely before removing from the pan. After about 10 minutes, the cobblers had shrunk a bit from the cooling.

Shrink after cooling

Since it was a cold evening, we decided to test them with a cup of tea and skip the recommended ice cream. I’m sure it’s a delicious addition, but totally not necessary.

Done

The Pintesting Results:

Overall Rating: 5 Pins

5 Pins Overall - LARGE

Accuracy: The recipe was easy to follow, and the blog post added clarity on the sprinkle question of the brown sugar and cinnamon. My husband, who considers himself a peach cobbler expert, said this was one of the very best he’d ever tasted. We both liked the light, crispiness and chewiness of the cobbler crust. It wasn’t doughy at all, which is his biggest pet peeve of cobblers. 5 pins

Rated 5 Pins - SMALL

Difficulty: This was a very simple recipe. Perfect for a novice baker. 5 pins

Rated 5 Pins - SMALL

Time: I found that it took about 5 minutes more than the time in the recipe, but it took roughly 10 minutes of prep time, 17 minutes of baking time, and 10 minutes of cooling. At just over half an hour, 5 pins.

Rated 5 Pins - SMALL

Cost: The ingredients are common to most kitchens. I only had to pick up the can of diced peaches for less than $2.00. 5 pins.

Rated 5 Pins - SMALL

Practicality: This makes a nice after school snack or week night dessert. The leftovers (if you have any) also make a yummy breakfast with a cup of coffee. 5 pins

Rated 5 Pins - SMALL