Christmas is a magical time and an opportunity to spoil ourselves, cook, create, chat and celebrate. Chef Paolo from Poppyseed Gourmet Cafe shares his recipe for family favourite dessert, Festive Ricotta Tart. The perfect dessert for your Christmas table, this Ricotta Tart holds for 3-4 days making it a great one to prepare in advance! 



225g / 9oz Plain Flour

150g / 6oz Soft Butter

75g / 3oz Caster Sugar

2 drops vanilla essence

1 Egg


250g / 10oz Fresh Ricotta Cheese

1 Egg

30g / 1oz chocolate drops

30g / 1oz pine nuts, chopped

1 Orange, Zest Only

50g / 2oz Sugar

2 Drops of Vanilla Extract


  1. Preheat oven to 180 Celsius
  2. Lightly grease a 24cm tart tin with a removable base
  3. To make the pastry, combine flour, butter, sugar, vanilla & egg and beat with a wooden spoon or in a food processor until it forms a soft dough, taking care not to overwork it.
  4. Layout a piece of parchment on your work surface and dust with flour.
  5. Form the dough into a ball, flatten and roll out with a lightly floured rolling pin, to a thickness of about 6mm, turning the parchment to move the dough.
  6. Carefully transfer the pastry to the greased tart tin, pressing down into the corners and edges.
  7. Line the pastry case with a piece of parchment, fill with baking beans and bake blind for about 10 – 15 minutes.
  8. Meanwhile, prepare the filling. Beat the ricotta, egg, sultanas, pistachios, orange zest, sugar and vanilla together to combine well.
  9. Once the pastry has baked to a light golden brown, remove the parchment and beans, and pour in the ricotta filling.
  10. Return to the oven and bake for another 15 minutes.
  11. Remove and allow to cool before gently easing the tart out of the tin.
  12. Serve with your choice of winter berries and fresh cream.
  13. Store in the fridge until 20 mins before serving. The ricotta tart will hold for 3-4 days, making it a perfect dessert to prepare in advance!

Poppyseed Gourmet Cafes are located in Clarinbridge, Oranmore and Galway Crystal.