To celebrate Greek Easter that took place over the weekend I thought I’d post one of my favourite Greek(ish) recipes. This cherry, ricotta and almond tart recipe (in Greek, Glykies Tartes me Myzithra) is from Kathy Tsaples who owns a little store at the Prahran Market in Melbourne called ‘Sweet Greek.’ Kathy has 2 exceptional cookbooks – Sweet Greek and Sweet Greek Life. This recipe is from her first book, Sweet Greek. If you don’t know Kathy, go out and get her book, and better yet, (if you live in Melbourne) go to her shop. I kid you not, everything she does is 10/10. Kathy’s story is also a happy one – after being diagnosed with breast cancer, she quit her job to pursue her dream of cooking and opening a shop to offer the best in authentic Greek cuisine. I tried to pop in recently (just before Easter), but the line was too long!
I have a few very special Greeks in my life, which makes me very lucky as they are so welcoming, so thoughtful, all very strong independent people but with a really strong sense of community, and importantly, always keep me incredibly well fed. One of my favourite parts of this has been getting to know Greek food better and finding some lifelong favourites like kourambiethes, spanakopita, tiropita, saganaki and galaktoboureko. Although this tart isn’t exactly a traditional recipe it definitely sits harmoniously amongst many other traditional Greek recipes with the use of soft white cheese and almonds.
I’m a sucker for almond tarts, or almond anything really. Another personal favourite is this Spiced Almond & Pear Tart. I like the flavour of almond, but I love how dense, moist and textured almond meal / ground almonds makes a cake.
SOME RECIPE NOTES:
- This tart can be made as one large one, 2 x 20cm tarts or 6-8 smaller individual ones.
- I like to eat it served slightly warm from the oven with fresh Greek or coconut yoghurt.
- The original recipe uses cherries, but you can use blueberries, blackberries, mulberries or raspberries – or a mix. I’ve tried them all!
- This recipe can easily be made gluten free by making sure the cornflour is gluten-free.
- 125 g unsalted butter , plus extra for greasing the tins
- 200 g caster sugar
- Zest of one organic (unwaxed) lemon
- 1 tsp vailla extract
- 4 organic eggs (separated)
- 2 cups almond meal
- 2 tbsp cornflour (gluten free if preferred)
- 500 g ricotta
- Pinch of salt
- 1/2 cup blueberries
- 1/2 cup tinned cherries
- 1/2 cup flaked almonds
- 1/4 cup icing sugar (for dusting)
Preheat the oven to 180°C. Generously butter 2 x 20cm tart tins with a loose base.
With an electric mixer beat together the butter, sugar, lemon zest and vanilla until light, pale and fluffy. Scrape down the sides every so often. Add the egg yolks one at a time, then add the almond meal and cornflour – stir to combine. Gentle fold in the ricotta.
In a clean bowl, beat the egg whites with the salt until soft peaks form. Gentle fold the egg whites (⅓ at a time) into the ricotta mixture until all combined.
Spoon the mixture into the prepared tins (they should be about ⅔ full), smooth the tops and sprinkle with the berries/cherries – gently pushing them down a little. Scatter the flaked almonds on top.
Bake for around 45 mins – test with a skewer, if it comes out clean they are ready, if it’s still wet give them a few more minutes. Remove from the oven and leave to cool.
Once cooled, remove from tin and dust with icing sugar (use a sieve) to serve.