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Ricotta, Cranberry & Pear Mini Tarts

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Ingredients:

For the chocolate crust: – 3/4 cup almond flour – 3/4 cup gluten-free oat flour – 3 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder – 2 tbsp coconut sugar – 1/2 tsp salt – 1 egg yolk – 2 tbsp Real California unsalted butter, cold and cut into 1/2 inch dice – 3 tbsp ice water For the ricotta filling: – 1 cup Real California whole milk ricotta cheese – 1/2 cup Real California plain nonfat yogurt – 1 tbsp maple syrup – 1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped or 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract For the fruit topping: – 3/4 cup fresh or frozen cranberries – 2 tbsp maple syrup – 1 tbsp water – 2 ripe red pears, cored and thinly sliced

Directions:

Make the crust: Preheat the oven to 350???????F. Position a rack in the center of the oven and prepare the 3-inch tart pans on a baking sheet and lightly butter or spray them with oil.

In the bowl of a food processor, pulse to combine the almond and oat flours, cocoa powder, coconut sugar, and salt. Add the egg yolk and pulse until evenly distributed. Add the butter and pulse until moist crumbs form and then pulse in the ice water until the dough starts to hold together. It will appear to be a bit crumbly, but should hold together easily when pressed.

Firmly press 2 tablespoons of the dough into the bottom and against the sides of each tart pan, taking care to push the crust into the indentations in the sides. Bake the tart shells for about 15 minutes just until firm. Let the shells cool completely, and then carefully remove them from the pans. Baked tarts or unbaked dough will keep in the freezer, well wrapped, for up to two months.

Make the filling and fruit topping: Whisk together the ricotta cheese, yogurt, maple syrup, and vanilla and place in the refrigerator to keep chilled. In a medium saucepot, combine the cranberries, maple syrup, and water and cook over medium to high heat just until the cranberries have lightly stewed down but are still intact in shape, about 8 minutes. Set the sliced pears into the pan of cranberries and without stirring, let the pears lightly steam and become barely submerged in the cranberry syrup, about 3 minutes.

To serve, place the tart crusts on plates or a serving dish. Using a spoon, divide the ricotta filling evenly into the tarts. Layer a few sliced pears over the filling, top each with cranberries, and lightly drizzle with the brightly hued cranberry syrup form the pan. Enjoy immediately or serve chilled.

Credit: Patricia Bannan

Per Order:

Makes 10 small (3-inch) tarts

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