Strawberry Ricotta Streusel TartI couldn’t resist the list of ingredients for the “Strawberry Ricotta Streusel Tart,” from What She’s Having: bits like almond meal, butter, strawberry jam, ricotta cheese. And getting to use my 9-inch tart pan sealed the deal.

A “hands-on” dough is always a pleasure. Rubbing the butter into the flour, pressing the dough into the pan. The cheese filling couldn’t be easier: opening a jar of jam, pouring in 19.4 oz. of ricotta.

Incredibly, the remaining “crumbled” dough atop the tart becomes a bumpy browned crust, after baking for 55 minutes.

You’ll enjoy this one. It’s a wonderful, satisfying, not-too-sweet tart.

PREP TIME: dedicate two hours to chilling the dough, assembling the tart, baking, and waiting to cool before slicing
TASTE:
strawberry jam is just sweet enough, ricotta is just cheesy enough, the buttery crust wins

Next time, I will tackle the “Chinese Braised Beef,” from the May/June 2014 issue of Cook’s Illustrated (recipe below). Come back to my site next week, to observe the whole process.

Chinese Braised Beef
Cook’s Illustrated, May/June 2014
Serves 6

1-1/2 Tbsp. unflavored gelatin
2-1/2 cups plus 1 Tbsp. water
1/2 cup dry sherry
1/3 cup soy sauce
2 Tbsp. hoisin sauce
2 Tbsp. molasses
3 scallions, white and green parts separated, green parts sliced thin on bias
1 (2-inch) piece ginger, peeled, halved lengthwise, and crushed
4 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
1-1/2 tsp. five-spice powder
1 tsp. red pepper flakes
3 lbs. boneless beef short ribs, trimmed and cut into 4-inch lengths
1 tsp. corn starch

Sprinkle gelatin over 2-1/2 cups water in Dutch oven and let sit until the gelatin softens, about 5 minutes. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 300 degrees.

Heat softened gelatin over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until melted, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in sherry, soy sauce, hoisin, molasses, scallion whites, ginger, garlic, five-spice powder, and pepper flakes. Stir in beef and bring to a simmer. Remove pot from heat. Cover tightly with sheet of heavy-duty aluminum foil, then lid. Transfer to oven and cook until beef is tender, 2 to 2-1/2 hours, stirring halfway through cooking.

Using slotted spoon, transfer meat to a cutting board. Strain sauce through fine-mesh strainer into fat separator. Wipe out pot with paper towels. Let liquid settle for 5 minutes, then return defatted liquid to now-empty pot. Cook liquid over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until thickened and reduced to 1 cup, 20 to 25 minutes.

While sauce reduces, using 2 forks, break beef into 1-1/2-inch pieces. Whisk cornstarch and remaining 1 Tbsp. water together in small bowl.

Reduce heat to medium-low, whisk cornstarch mixture into reduced sauce, and cook sauce is until slightly thickened, about 1 minute. Return beef to sauce and stir to coat. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until beef is heated through, about 5 minutes. Sprinkle scallion greens over top. Serve.