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Making my own crust pastry has always been a dream. Ever since the first time I came to Belgium and discovered these amazing French biscuit crust cakes filled with fresh cream or vanilla pudding, graced on top with colorful summer fruits. The moment to master this art will come, I can feel it. But before I attempt a real cake, I have decided to start with a simpler version and try a French tartelette instead. Helene Dujardin has been inspiring me for an year already with her beautiful and simplistic admiration for food. Her styling technics open the gates to the French country-side living and make you dream and remember that life is all about the little things and the precious moments we share with the ones we love.
My silent inspiration has been transformed this weekend into a confident attempt of trying one of Helene’s recipes and what a triumph. Not only have I managed for a first time ever to make a herb crust pastry, but the entire tartelette looked and tasted amazing. A very good reason to be proud.
I have slightly adapted her recipe, giving it a little bit more depth of flavor.
Helene’s blog and original recipe could be found on the following link: http://www.tarteletteblog.com/
For the crust:
For the ricotta filling:
Prepare the crust:
In a large bowl mix together the flour, salt and oregano until incorporated. Add the butter and mix by hand until the butter resembles small peas. Gradually, stream in the cold water until the flour just comes together. Turn the mixture out onto your work surface and form into a 2-inch thick, round disk. Wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 30 minutes (or overnight) before rolling out.
Preheat the oven to 175c.
Prepare the filling:
In a large bowl, mix all the ingredients together and keep refrigerated until ready to use.
Slice the tomatoes and spread them out on layers of paper towels to drain some of their moisture out while you roll out the pastry.
On a large surface area, well floured, roll out the pastry dough to a 10-inch circle, spread the ricotta filling but not all the way to the edge. Leave a 2-inch border of pastry all around. Layer the tomatoes on top. Gather the edges of the pastry dough, pleating as you go with your fingertips. Sprinkle the tomatoes with parmesan and pepper. Bake for about 40 to 50 minutes. Let cool slightly, drizzle with the olive oil, some more fresh oregano and serve.