Cunningham’s, Baltimore, MD
During citrus season, don’t be afraid to sideline lemons and call up a less common fruit, like Cara Cara or blood oranges.
Amaranth Shortbread Dough:
- 1/4 cup amaranth seeds
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 stick (1/2 cup) butter at room temperature
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 egg yolk
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup ricotta
- 1/4 cup cream cheese at room temperature
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 egg
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 1/2 teaspoons lemon zest
Make the amaranth shortbread dough: heat a small sauté pan over medium heat. Add the amaranth seeds and toast until fragrant, about 1 minute. Let cool for 10 minutes. Grind in a spice grinder. Combine with the flour and salt in a small bowl. Set aside.
In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugar until smooth. Add the egg yolk and vanilla extract, Mix until well incorporated. Add the dry ingredients and mix until the dough just comes together. Do not overmix.
Gather the dough into a ball and flatten it with your hands or with a rolling pin. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and let chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours.
On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough into 1/4-inch-thick circle. Transfer the dough to an 8-inch round tart pan and gently press it into the bottom and sides of the pan. Trim off the excess dough. Chill the dough in the refrigerator for 20 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 375ºF. Bake the tart shell until light golden brown, about 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from the oven and reduce the oven temperature to 325ºF.
Make the filling: in a food processor, blend the ricotta and cream cheese until smooth. With the food processor still running, add the sugar in a slow steady stream. Turn off the machine and scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the egg and mix to combine. Add the honey, lemon juice, and lemon zest. Scrape down the sides and pulse for 10 seconds. If desired, pass the mixture through a fine-mesh sieve.
Pour the filling into the baked tart shell. Bake the tart until the filling is just set, about 22 to 25 minutes. Let the tart cool at room temperature. Chill uncovered in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours before serving.
One 8-inch tart