Margarita's International Recipes


Crostata al Caprino

Goat Cheese Tart

Goat Cheese Tart

This goat cheese tart is not a Lucanian dessert per se, but a creation of Matera chef Francesco Abbondanza, as recreated from his description by cookbook author Rosetta Costantino. Still, sweetened soft cheese confections are common in Italian cuisine, as is the pasta frolla shortbread crust, so Abbondanza didn't have to think far and wide to come up with this dessert.

It's quite simple to make, though it requires long periods of refrigeration, so start it early. Make sure you butter the pie tart, I didn't (because I used a non-stick one) and it was impossible to remove it without breaking the tart. You can top it with any fruits or conserves you'd like, but fresh mixed berries worked great. Though the tart is not very sweet, it's very heavy, and it really needs the brightness of the berries to complement it.


Goat Cheese Tart


    For the crust

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tsp grated lemon zest
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt

    For the filling

  • 10 oz fresh goat cheese, at room temperature
  • 2/3 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp grated lemon zest
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 2 - 3 pints (12 - 16 oz) fresh berries


Make the tart shell

Take the butter and eggs out of the refrigerator and let stand for 1/2 hour. Cube the butter. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg, egg yolk and lemon zest. Set aside.

Place flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in the bowl of an electric food processor and pulse several times. Add the butter cubes and process until combined. With the food processor running, add the egg mixture through the tube. Continue mixing until the dough is mixed through. Remove the dough from the bowl, make into a ball and then flatten into a disk 1/4" thick. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

Grease a tart pan with a removable bottom. Transfer the dough disk to the tart pan and press to cover the whole pan with it, trimming extra dough. Use any extras for cookies. Press the tines of a fork into the bottom of the dough several times. Wrap the whole pan with dough in plastic wrap again and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. Meanwhile, pre-heat oven to 350°F.

Cut a circle of parchment paper large enough to cover the bottom of the tart and butter it. Press the parchment paper on the dough, buttered size down. Place pie weights on top or dried beans. Bake until it's golden, about 20 minutes. Remove from the oven, remove the parchment paper with the weights or beans and let cool. Meanwhile, prepare the filling.

Make the filling

In a large bowl soften the cream cheese, using a fork (or your hands). Mix in the powdered sugar and lemon zest, set aside. Using an electric mixer, whip the heavy cream until it forms soft peaks. Transfer 1 cup of whipped cream into the bowl with the cream cheese and fold in until combined. Fold in the rest of the whipped cream.

Pour filling into the tart shell and smooth out. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. Remove tart pan. Place fresh berries on top of the tart and serve.

Adapted from Rosetta Costantino's recipe in Southern Italian Desserts.

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