I know what you’re thinking, “Really, Deb? Tarts again?” And I realize that it might seem that I’m in a tart rut, what with those rustic rhubarb tarts and the distinctly tart-looking strawberry brown butter bettys and now these strawberry ricotta tarts. But you see, they’re all very different animals parading under the guise of tart-dom and really — because I am allowed to choose favorites, did you know that? — these are the best ones yet.
Because they’re fake tarts. There’s no agonizing crust or shell to deal with, no tart rings or fluted removable-bottom pans, no fillings that need to be whipped just so and crossing your fingers that it doesn’t leak, explode or turn to mush in the oven. In fact, the bases aren’t tart shells at all, they’re essentially graham crackers, which means that they’re essentially cookies, which means that they’re essentially brilliant.
These are destined to become my go-to summer 2010 dessert because they’re just what I’ve been looking for: the kind of thing you can make in advance and assemble as a not-too-overly-indulgent weekday night dessert or easily pack up and bring to a picnic or pot-luck. The graham bases can be made up to two weeks in advance, longer if you freeze them unbaked, the ricotta mixture can be made up to a week in advance, depending on how fresh and therefore volatile your ricotta is and the strawberries are thrilled to stew in their delicious juices for as long as you need them to, but are guaranteed not to make it past day three because you’ll want to spoon them over everything.
And rather than tasting elegant and grown-up in a way that you know you should appreciate but can’t get into (as so many pretty-pretty desserts do) as far as I’m concerned, these might the best thing piled on a graham cracker since the 1927 Tramping and Trailing Girl Scout Handbook listed a recipe for s’mores. Yup, they’re that good and you’ll never guess who agrees.
One year ago: Pickled Sugar Snaps
Two years ago: Potato Pizza
Three years ago: Spring Vegetable Stew
Strawberry-Ricotta Graham Tartlets
Adapted — barely, as the recipe was just about perfect — from Food & Wine
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1/4 cup whole wheat flour, or graham flour if you can get it
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
Pinch of ground cloves
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
3 tablespoons plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 tablespoons honey
1 1/2 teaspoons molasses (you can swap this with additional honey, if desired)
3/4 pound strawberries, thinly sliced
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 1/4 cups ricotta (10 ounces), fresh if you can find it, a full-fat store bought if you cannot
2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
Make grahams: In a bowl, whisk both flours with the cinnamon, salt and cloves. Beat the butter, light brown sugar and 2 tablespoons of the granulated sugar at medium speed on an electric mixer until fluffy, about 1 minute. Beat in the honey and molasses, about 30 seconds. Scrape down the side of the bowl and beat in the flour mixture at low speed, just until incorporated. Pat the dough into a disk, cover with plastic and refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour.
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper. On a lightly floured work surface, roll out the dough 1/8 inch thick. Using a 3 1/2-inch oval cookie cutter (recommendation of original recipe), a 3 1/2-inch round cutter (what I had, and used) or a smaller cutter of your choice (I might go with 3 inches next time, as I like petite desserts), stamp out your bases. (About 16 with a 3 1/2-inch oval, 10 with a 3 1/2-inch round or more with a smaller cutter.) Reroll the dough scraps if necessary. Transfer the grahams to the baking sheets and bake for about 12 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through, until lightly golden around the edges. Let cool on the pans for 5 minutes, then transfer the grahams to racks to cool completely.
Make toppings: In a bowl, toss the strawberries with the remaining 3 tablespoons of sugar and the lemon juice. Let stand until syrupy, 20 minutes. In a medium bowl, mix the ricotta, confectioners’ sugar and lemon zest.
Assemble tartlets: Spread about 1 tablespoon of the ricotta mixture on each graham. Arrange the strawberries over the ricotta, drizzle with the syrup and serve.
Do ahead: Grahams will keep in an airtight container for up to two weeks. They will keep longer, unbaked, in the freezer. Ricotta mixture, if your ricotta is fresh, will keep for a day or two and up to a week if from packaged ricotta. Strawberry mixture should, in theory, keep for a few days but will not because it is delicious enough to spoon over every yogurt, oatmeal or ice cream scoop you can find.
186 comments on strawberry-ricotta graham tartlets
Oh yum…have tons of strawberries and a thing of ricotta to “use up”….Thanks!
Oh my. This recipe has my name all over it!
Oh! These look delicious and are so pretty.
One question- is this a fork dessert or a hand-held kinda thing?
Either way, I’m going to have to find a reason to make these STAT.
Yumm!!! I do something similar with marscapone and a baguette, but this sounds even better.
Certain members of my household hate ricotta. What would you recommend for a substitution?
You are my favourite food blogger. If I’m not making one of your recipes myself, I’m emailing a link to someone I’m sure would love it. Or someone I’m sure would make it for me…
I make something similar to this with goat cheese and a touch of black pepper in the strawberries. It’s divine. I use ciabtta bread brushed with butter and cinnamon-sugar instead of grahams.
That’s the cutest spoon thief I’ve ever seen! :)
Right up my alley! I’d have to hide the ricotta from my husband, but I think he’d eat it too. :)
It’s impossible not to go strawberry crazy right now. I was close to doing a tart over the weekend, but my apartment was just too hot to pull off a crust. This might have worked better! Oh well, I worked it out with an upsidedown cake.
So lovely! I saw Giada De Laurentiis do something a bit like this, cooking pie crust in little circles and then adorning it with layers of cooked apples and whipped cream. Such a smart method, since the crust stays crisp and the you can control the done-ness of your filling so much better when cooking on the stove. Your tartlets look so perfect and summery, I’ll have to make something similar for my Fourth of July party! They’d be great with with strawberries and blueberries for a patriotic treat.
I love summer desserts like this–but knowing me I’ll skip the cookie and just eat the strawberries and cheese outta the bowl….
wow, how lovely!! i’m having a love affair with F&W lately, i’ve cooked 10 things from them and all hits! I’ll have to try these for a picnic this summer — such portability!!
My mother is allergic to fresh strawberries. Do you think it would work with raspberries or another fruit? These would be fabulous for an upcoming birthday party we are having. So colorful and pretty!
Aw jeees! There go my blood sugars again!
Your link to the thief is perfect.
It’s like you read my mind…..the ricotta-making kick I’m on + cheap cheap strawberries = this amazing looking recipe. can’t wait to try it!
This style of tart shell is my favorite too. I hate prying shells from their forms, they always break or stick (I don’t have any with removable bottoms) and it so fiddley getting them all filled. I think using a 2 1/2″ cutter is about perfect, much bigger and they sometimes break in several pieces mid bite. I envy you your cutter set, I love those fluted edges.
these look beautiful and so yummy – very kid friendly. how muhc of a difference do you think that the molasses makes? I have been thinking of buying some but don’t know where else i would use it. btw, your skillet irish soda bread was amazing!
I was just coming in here to ask about a sub for ricotta (lactose intolerance is usually not a big deal, but no matter how many enzyme pills I take I STILL can’t eat ricotta), but someone already mentioned goat cheese and now my mind reels with the possibilities!
Great recipe! I could eat those graham shells on there own!!!
ok, the idea of ricotta in a dessert just doesn’t seem to appeal to me, but honestly your description made it sound so good that i’m completely sold! And if I try it and don’t like it? Well, lasagna sounds good too :)
Yummy!they look so delicious!!!
@Michele – I’ve often used mascarpone or quark in place of ricotta. Vermont Butter and Cheese makes fantastic versions of both. Try maybe a mixture of mascarpone and regular cream cheese?
This sounds sooooo delicious and tempting. I may have to whip this up even though I’m still recovering from the rustic rhubarb tarts (which were amazing).
Very beautiful Deb. I do like the idea that it can be made ahead of time and assembled later. Keep the strawberry recipes coming. I love them.
…just thinking how the smell of strawberries reminds me of my childhood, hum wonder what it reminds Jacob of? This recipe does look perfect.
Wow. These look seriously amazing. The thing that really does me in, though? The fact that the strawberries are not cooked. I do not like cooked strawberries. AT ALL.
I am so trying these! And, also, might freeze some of the pretty graham crackers for the aforementioned s’mores (it’s not a complete summer until I indulge in at least one). And how much better would they be with homemade crackers?!
Gosh, I love graham! Thanks for sharing this.
Have been intrigued by this whole graham cracker thing since I read (oh, the shame!) Babysitter’s Club as a kid and they used them for s’mores (another mystery)…Perhaps it’s time to try them and figure this all out.
There is no such thing as too many tarts – fake or otherwise – and this post proves it. YUMMY!
Am making these with mixed berries, stat! I’m allergic to strawberries, but love raspberries.
You can never make too many tarts. Keep on going!
Uh oh. Those look good! :)
Ricotta and strawberries are such a great combo!
sending this to my mom, asap!
Perfect timing… strawberries have finally grown in CT. I love the graham cookie base too, these look like you could do a lot of different things with them…maybe a new s’more?!!
Brilliant! And me with lots of ricotta to use up.
Stuck in a rut. A Delicious rut. Way to go chic….will have to give homemade grahams a go
If a person is going to be stuck in a rut, this is the one to be stuck in!
I’m heading to the store right now to pick up all ingredients. I just might include a few mini-chocolate chips in the ricotta filling because that’s the kind of person I am!
Yes! These ARE “essentially brilliant.” I don’t have any sort of pie tins or anything like that, so this does look perfect. You should do a chocolate based cookie next!
Mmmmm! Strawberries never looked so good.
Great presentation. I have strawberries and rhubarb to use up. That might work here if I add more sugar. If you bring them to a potluck or picnic, would you let people assemble their own?
Perfect bite sized treats!
Yummy. I thought for a second you were doing another blog from Good to the Grain. I have tried a key lime tart with a graham cracker crust that was really good. I can only imaging how much easier and yummy these were.
Using graham as little tart crusts is brilliant! I can’t wait to make these with fresh berries!
No need to apologise for the overdose of tart recipes – keep them coming. Your crackers looks so perfect, I’m insanely jealous, even though I try to comfort myself by thinking mine have some homemade charm missing from shop bought ones by being misshapen. Strawberries and ricotta – I’m making these on Wednesday.
Tarts without the troublesome crust? Sign me up!
I’m certainly not sick of tarts! These DO look like the best one’s yet. YUM!
Post as many tart recipes as you want. Everything I’ve ever made from this site has been solid gold. I don’t even question the new posts on my RSS feed, I just go into a trance and go get the ingredients.
They look fab! I have an over abundance of cream cheese at the moment so may it could be substituted for the ricotta?
never ever concern yourself with the thought that i might become sick of tarts. These are perfect- might become my summer go-to too.
I really do want to learn how to make those light yellow custard fillings for tarts
Finally a tart for me! I’ve resisted buying a tart pan and anything resembling a real pie crust never turns out well for me, but cookies? I can make cookies!
this is great – it’s not that i’m “tired” of strawberry shortcake (blasphemy!) but i still have some happy strawberries looking for something else to sit on top of. and this is exactly how i make them, just sugar and fresh lemon juice – sometimes also a splash of oj and a little water if i’m in a hurry :)
YUM. I definitely was dying to know how to make graham crackers because – shock horror – I can’t find them here in China! These sound uncannily like strawberry shortcake. Delicious! :)
I bet this is delicious with mixed berries too. Blackberries are finally hitting their stride here, so I’m guessing they will make an appearance.
Ohh my gosh – these look soo amazing.
Hi Deb, can these crackers be used as the base of your New York cheesecake? I can’t wait to try so many of your recipes!
Hi Pickyin — Absolutely!
These look wonderful! And just in case any of you are having trouble finding graham flour, Bob’s Red Mill makes it and I’ve found it in your average grocery store such as Fred Meyer, or Food Lion (depending on what coast you live on). I have a recipe for graham crackers that calls for 2 cups of graham flour and no other kinds. Does anyone have an idea whether this recipe could be made using all graham flour? Thanks!
I love strawberry treats. THese look wonderful!
Thanks Deb! Am so excited, and all this just after making the third batch of the best cocoa brownies EVER (as per confessed by a brownie-loving friend).
oooh baby, those look good! is it weird that i have never heard of graham flour before?
i have no words… i love you! thanks so much for this recipeeee
You had me at “grahams”!
These look great – thank you. Also, I don’t think your twitter feed is working…still on root beer float cupcakes.
Cathy — Thanks, I had no idea!
I love the whimsy that anything graham invokes! There isn’t a more fitting companion than summery berries and cool creamy ricotta. “Volatile ricotta”…hahaha!
These look amazing, if it weren’t for the fact that I can’t tolerate ricotta. Do you have any suggestions for substitutions? (Other dairy is fine.)
Hmm. I think this demands a family evening around the firepit to make somores with these and homemade marshmallows!
Indeed! these are the best ones yet! I like strawberries with ricotta and this on graham crackers. You’re genius. Quick question: Which gragham cracker recipe do you prefer? this one or the one you’d posted in May ’09? I tried those then and loved them!
These will be just the thing for a “gals get-together” I’m hosting next week. Maybe even the guys will get one or two!
I am going to a birthday celebration for a best friend on Thursday and I think she would love this. Problem is, I just moved to a new apartment and I didn’t bring a rolling pin or a stand mixer since I’m a college student. Any tips to adapt the recipe for perhaps a cupcake pan to bake these into tart shells? If all else fails, I’ll just buy a rolling pin, but I don’t get paid for two weeks. Help!
I’m a new reader of your blog, and have found your insight indispensable on several occasions lately. I just noticed your recipe from 2 years ago for potato pizza, and you’ve transported me back to college! We had a great pizza place that served potato pizza, which I miss terribly. They used no sauce, sliced, unpeeled (and I believe par-boiled) red potatoes, thinly sliced red onion and big slices of sharp cheddar cheese, then topped the cooked pizza with tzatzki sauce. Delish! Thanks for all of your hard work!
adding this to my “must make for the summer” list
Ricotta is an under-rated dessert ingredient! Also delicious on crumpets with honey and almonds…… but I digress. My question is: finger food, or fork food??
Make tarts all day, every day. No complaints here.
I bet these would be pretty tasty using digestive biscuits as the base, for those of us pressed for time but feeling the immediate need to make this. That’s my plan for tonight.
Wow. That looks delicious. I made frozen yogurt with my last batch of strawberries, but between these and the betties I will have to get more!
How many grams is in 1 stick unsalted butter?
Thanks a lot!
1 stick butter=4 ounces (weight) =113.5 grams
For those who are hesitant about the ricotta: I have too often associated it with a grainy texture that I don’t care for. However, after trying some cheesecake recipes using ricotta (Italian-style cheesecakes) I have learned that ricotta can have a gorgeously smooth and creamy texture (becoming unrecognizable as ricotta, but with a texture and flavor superior to cream cheese) if you put it in a food processor–it is indeed transformed. A powerful handmixer might work well also.
If I were doing a shortcut on this recipe, I think I will try a thin, store-bought large cookie, or, just dip smaller butter cookies into the lovely berry and cheese topping. Or, to hell with the cookie, just enjoy the ricotta (or mascarpone) with the berries.
oh,just noticed the suggestion for digestive biscuits–another easy and sturdy cookie base.
Where do you find your graham flour at? I have had a difficult time finding it in the past.
I have dog eared this recipe in Food & Wine since receiving that issue a few months ago. I was going to make it for a party this weekend, but had decided against in favor of something else.. but seeing your post has changed my mind. I have now decided that this is a sign that I am suppose to make them! Thank you!!
Mmm, now will the stawberries on my windowsil please hurry up and ripen!
@ Alyse (73) I think a bit of good old-fashioned elbow grease will make up for not having a mixer (I don’t have one, I like to think I’m pre-emptively burning off calories!). As for the rolling pin, I’ve used a wine bottle to great effect (empty or full) or you could try a can. You could probably even place the dough between two sheets of plastic wrap and pat it out with your hands – you might not get a perfectly uniform thickness but they’ll taste the same.
Deb, I’ve been on a strawberry kick lately and your recipes will become very handy! :)
These are so petite and beautiful, and I don’t make tarts as much as I should.
Aagh, I had just decided on Ricotta Gnocchi to use up the extra container of ricotta I found myself with, and now you post these…on second thought, the 2-pounds I have looks like it might be enough to make both. Woohoo!
These could show up at my house for dessert any day! The strawberries are perfect right now to make this dessert.
These look amazing! Silly question – but do you serve these as finger food or with a fork?
I have never served ricotta as a dessert, but will have to! I saw Bobby Flay do it over the weekend on his show, I love ricotta cheese and strawberries. Very pretty.
Right now I might need some of these.
What a cookbook you have created here.
Happy Tuesday from sunny Finland.
“a 3 1/2-inch round cutter…(I might go with 3 1/2 inches next time, as I like petite desserts)” .Deb , just a note.
That’s so funny; this morning I was thinking of how to use up extra ricotta! These look so fun!
OK, now I have to run out and get some strawberries! I passed them up at the farmers market on Saturday because I did not know these tarts were coming!
Hi Deb, how would you rate these graham crackers vs your other recipe for graham? The other ones are like my manna, so I’m tempted to just stick with those; however, if the addition of cloves and lack of topping on these is necessary, I’ll give them a try!
jeni, Purple Foodie — As a pure graham cracker, I like my other recipe more. But for simplicity’s sake, these give you a decent graham flavor with fewer ingredients.
Erica — Ha! Nope, not in Boca and for once, don’t need to envy the weather there now that NYC is blessing us with a blissful upper-70s, low-humidity week thus far.
SaraLe — Thanks! Now fixed.
Tender — I didn’t find it, actually, but I also didn’t look very hard as I’m convinced I already have too many flours and don’t think I’ll get a lot of mileage out of it. I used whole wheat flour.
Molly — It could be either finger or fork food but if you have a choice, go with the fork as the strawberries are a little drippy.
Deb, I’m pretty sure you were in Boca Raton this morning. I saw you (or perhaps your doppleganger) in the car next to me on my morning commute. And it made my day. Then, it reminded me to check for new recipes… Yay! Thanks for everything. This latest looks delish! :)
Oh this really is making my mouth water – it looks just GREAT!
I saw this recipe 6 weeks ago on F&W, and wanted to make them, as the suggested wine pairing was Madeira. I have a wonderful bottle from our recent Napa Valley trip.
Now to see the recipe again? Clearly, the universe is telling me to make and eat these!
I appreciate the poster’s suggestion of using the food processor to cream the ricotta — the grainy factor initially gave me pause to think — cream cheese and the alternative marscopone, as well. And not that I want to offend or deviate too much but my mind went the way of …. thin, crisp sugar cookie base. Truly endless and wonderful alternatives to dealing with tart pans and the like :0)
I, personally, have no problem with your recent penchant for tarts. In fact, I think this version looks fantastic and I love how easy they are!
Tarts rock my world!
My grandkids love them, I love them, yumm….
Yummy! These look delightful. I’m in such a strawberry mood these days and always searching for a new way to use them. Thanks for the inspiration!
I’d be happy with a tart a day…that being said, I think these are my favorite.
You know how in season, fresh farmer’s market strawberries are practically a different food than store bought strawberries in December? The same is true for ricotta. Home made ricotta is SO completely different than store bought. For those of you who don’t believe me, here’s a super easy, quick and delicious ricotta recipe.
I can’t wait to eat these!!
I made these last month for gourmet group – so yummy! After making the ricotta and enjoying the fresh taste, I have decided that I am never buying it in a plastic container again.
Oh yeah – I made the ricotta – so easy and delish.
Ooooooh, I do love ricotta. And strawberries. Oooooh, might have to make these. I’m hoping digestive biscuits will be a good substitute for graham crackers as they are with cheesecake.
ooh… this looks exactly like what I would like to eat right now…
Your pictures are beautiful!! They make me want to try everything even more!
Tizmarelda #105…thanks for the ricotta link. I made a half recipe of the ricotta today (actually I combined C101 & David Lebovitz recipe, then halved it) so I could try Debs tarts. This ricotta is really, Really wonderful. Thanks for the link to get me going on this!
These look so easy and quick. I can imagine this with blueberries and lemon-infused ricotta. Yum
Beautiful! Your tartlets brings back a memory. I once dined in a restaurant that served a simple dessert of grilled bread, ricotta, strawberries, and honey. It was delicious! Not as pretty as your dessert, but very tasty.
Deb, I saw your comment about your prefered graham cracker recipe if one was going to opt to make just the cracker (and i’ve been jonesing for a graham cracker for a while now). Question: in that other recipe you suggest swapping 1/2 cup whole wheat flour for white. I happen to have graham flour. Can that be swapped for whole wheat in the same proportions?
I love make-ahead treats. And this is a make-ahead that is still fresh, and light and full of strawberries! Yum! To me this is perfect picnic food.
I would love to try substituting ricotta with mascarpone cheese. Delish!
Deb, yum total deja vu for me. As a teenager we’d meet after school for tea and cheese and crackers or sometimes for what we called our mini cheesecakes — graham crackers, cream cheese and strawberry jam. Totally yummy.
Cute, love them!
omg this looks absolutely amazing! So perfectly summery! What a great summertime dinner party dessert! I am making this ASAP!
Thanks for the recipe. I made it last night and it was LOVELY. I even added more lemon zest and a bit of juice to the ricotta. It was messy and delicious. I kept my grahams pretty small with a little heart cookie cutter that had the fluted edges. The smell of the grahams cooking was to die for!
These are just genius…and perfect for summer! They look so light.
Yes, I think I see s’mores in my future. Homemade grahams sound so good. This presentation reminds me of a linzer “tart” we used to make at one of Michel Richard’s restaurants. The cookie base was a linzer dough, spread w/ dried fig jam and topped w/ fresh raspberries. A nice variation for raspberry season. Would be adorable as minis. Now if I could only fnd a decent ricotta.. oh, well. back to the s’mores.
These look amazing! I just went strawberry picking this past weekend, so will definitely have to try.
These look amazing! I just went strawberry picking this past weekend, so will definitely have to try.
Oh my goodness, these look absolutely amazing. I’m a sucker for graham cracker anything!
these look so delicious! this reminds me of another fantastic and effortless ricotta dessert- just mix fresh ricotta with sugar, cinnamon, and shaved chocolate, which I’m sure would be even better with strawberries on top!
wow…homemade graham crackers!! I bet they are just delicious! I love the little tart set on it, easy and refreshing!
If you’re still on the straeberry binge.
These cupcakes are heaven.
ooh! With strawberries from the garden and maybe some homemade ricotta…heaven!
Thanks again for inspiring creativity and adventure in the kitchen!
These mini-tarts look great for parties. I really should try making them sometime. The strawberry topping looks absolutely divine, and strawberries have always been one of my favorite fruits. I’m a total sugar nut, so I may try it with sweetened cream cheese and topped with sweetened whipped cream.
I was doing so good! Nothing but Slim Fast shakes and steamed veggies and then you go and post this! It’s criminal! I was forced to make them…and they are not as good as you say they are – they’re better! My thighs thank you. xo, Nan
If your going to be in a rut, I think a tart rut is a good one to be in! I appreciate your rut, as our bellies are benefiting from it, thanks for another great recipe!
those looks heavenly delicious
Wow, these tarts looks like a biscuits and strawberry color is appetizing. I am new here so tart rut is fine for me. Even if I wasn’t I would like variation on tarts like you have done, so keep it up.
your tarts and chat have brightened my day :-)
Hello! I liked the part of this post where you point out that these tarts don’t require crossing fingers and toes that the filling doesn’t turn into curdled gray mush in the oven. This happened last night as I was attempting to prepare a honey and pine nut tart. Epic fail–any advice for rescuing curdled tart filling before it goes in the oven? It was a pretty simply “cream butter and sugar then slowly add eggs and flavoring” recipe…
Cheers to you! These tarts look fabulous. You can stay in a tart rut for as long as you like :-)
Ooohh wow these look delicious, i have cravings now hehe!
Beautiful. Strawberries are so great fresh now, but would you ever use a good quality frozen strawberry?
Ramona — Don’t see why frozen couldn’t work, but I’d probably cook them into a compote rather than just defrost them and toss them with lemon and sugar. They’ll be a little limp if just straight defrosted.
Gosh, those look gorgeous.
I’m having trouble!! I am now on my third attempt to make the graham cookie base. I am a fairly experienced baker but I can’t seem to get the dough to be anything other than a crumbly mess, and I am following the recipe to the letter. Is it really only 1 stick of butter? Should there be a liquid in there? My third attempt is now chilling in the fridge and I have up-ed the butter to 3/4 of a cup. This time the dough is actually dough and not a mess of crumbles. Do you have any suggestions as to what I might be doing wrong?
Donnie — Most cookies don’t have liquid in them. Do you know how you measure you flour? If you end up with a heavier cup of flour, it can lead to a drier dough. But of course, it’s hard for me to guess what might be going on on your end… that was all that came to mind.
Made these Tuesday for my bunko group. Easy to make and assemble. Flavors were just right. A great light summer dessert. I put them together at the last moment to keep the cookie part as crisp as I could. I baked the scraps – delicious!
The cloves in these cookies would go great with a peach/nutmeg topping. Wonder where I got that idea from…
Thanks for the advice Deb. I am a “spoon and sweep” kind of person with my flour. It was just so crumbly! Adding the extra butter did make it in to a dough, (like a short bread cookie), and it baked up quite nicely. The crumbly mixture just seemed to scream out for an egg or something. Luckily for me the butter worked!
It looks gorgeous. But I could just chew on the cookies all by themselves. What kind of honey do you usually use in desserts?
PreeOccupied — The kind that comes in a bear? I’m not really picky about honeys.
What a perfect treat this would be!! Light and tasty! :)
Let’s not refer to it as a tart rut, but a tart passion! Saw you in Martha Everyday Food. Congratulations!
Looks like a good reason to break out the grass-fed ricotta to me!
I had the opposite problem from Donnie. My carefully measured ingredients were all gooey and couldn’t be rolled at all until I added another 1/2 C. of flour. I found some very nice graham flour at my health food grocery. They barely hung together on the spatula before cooking but they taste fine. Wonderful combination of flavors!
The “fake” tart idea seems simple and delicious! I love the photography and your site :)
Haha, yeah right like I’d ever get tired of seeing your gorgeous photos and amazing recipes of tarts! I could eat these daily.
made these last night- delicious! though we cheated and use non fat ricotta but i have to say they were still amazing. the flavors from the strawberries and the tartlets steal the show! thanks for another great recipe!
made these this evening, but subbed the whole-wheat ginger snaps from “good to the grain” (the one recipe i frantically scribbled down before bitterly giving it to the person i picked it out for as a gift) and went the full mile with homemade ricotta. PERFECT for a lighter birthday treat for my mom, who loves gingersnaps above all else.
i loved the graham crackers when I made these! i didn’t even get to the berries and cheese! my nephew just about finished the whole bottle. =D
I was reading back and saw some pple had a crumble dough, the same happened for me. I rolled the dough between plastic wrap and it turned out ok. (will try without refriging it next time)
We are excited to try this recipe with our baby…any suggestions on a substitution for the honey? Yum!
Oh, sigh, if only strawberry season in NY was the same here. I *think* it should be strawberry season here, but that they either ship them in or grow them all in greenhouses because the strawberries all appeared in stores so early in the spring it was still cold out. All big identical monsters, too, nothing natural-looking about them. I tried to make those yummy-looking brown-butter tarts a few weeks ago and had to use cherries. Too many pits and stems! But I’ll save this one for next year, anyway. :S
Okay, so I made these last night for my team meeting and had the same problem as one other poster — they were a crumbly mess. I kluged it all together and the cookies turned out okay in the end, but no one was reaching for seconds. I’m a pretty experienced cook and baker, and LOVE your recipes, but this is the first one I won’t make again. It was okay, but not worth the effort. (Sorry!)
For crumbling, spreading issues, I am wondering if any of these causes might ring true.
Deb, I have been a silent reader for a while now and I felt compelled to speak up today. Thanks so much for sharing this recipe. I brought it to a play date today and they were goobled right up. My son and I actually ate alot of the strawberry mixture before we made it to the play date so I had to add some blueberries to it (delicious, too!). It will definitely be my go to summer recipe as well!
I made these last week for a dinner party and they were a BIG hit! I haven’t read all the comments, but wanted to say I found the dough a teeny bit hard to work with just out of the fridge, but once it warmed a bit it was fine. I rolled it out between sheets of wax paper so I didn’t have to incorporate any more flour – I think that would have been a big problem, especially on second and third roll outs!
Anyway I was nervous they would be too light and simple for the crowd I was feeding, but they all loved them – very summery, and perfect after a complex meal.
these look great! i really want to make them, but my family doesn’t like ricotta cheese. what would be a good substitute for it (i was thinking cream cheese or chevre)? thanks!
I made these for fathers day and they turned out great. I used mascarpone cheese instead of ricotta and I absolutely loved it. The graham cracker is such a good idea thanks Deb.
oh my… i made these with cream cheese instead of ricotta and they were soooo good!!!! i’m making another batch of the grahams soon to hopefully keep in the freezer. anyone think they’ll do okay once frozen and thawed???
My fiancee made these for dessert last night and we loved them. He made everything ahead of time so that once we finished eating dinner, all we had to do was assemble them. Perfect weeknight dessert!
These look so delish!! I can’t wait to try them out!!
I’m consoled to read that I wasn’t the only one with a crumbly dough. Mine was like sand before and after refrigeration! I might give it another go and measure my flour more carefully! Thanks for the crumbly dough-related comments, fellow readers and Deb. The grahams do taste great, even if they aren’t beautiful!
I’m back to report. I tried them (the grahams) again! Much better luck this time. I measured the flour more carefully and didn’t let the butter get quite so soft. I still had to press the dough to keep it from cracking as I rolled it out, but it was not crumbly like last time. We ate ours today after a 4th of July feast. Thank you for the recipe!
I’ve made these twice and my husband just loves them! The first time I made them he said, “I think this is the best dessert you’ve ever made.” They are really good – perfectly light but satisfying. A drizzle of melted chocolate isn’t an awful addition if fruit sans chocolate isn’t your bag. I think strawberries + ricotta are now my favorite (fruit + cream) combo.
I also made a variation this morning using pancakes that I doctored to mirror the grahams. I don’t think my starting pancake recipe was that great, but I think the idea has some potential :)
I had a very hard time with the dough, I could not get it to come together at all and it was almost like sand.(?) I did measure my flour carefully and used the correct amount of butter. I used the “find” feature and it didn’t look like anyone asked this…do you know the weight of the flour you used? I think that would be helpful for this particular recipe. Thanks!
My cups of all-purpose flour clock in at about 125 grams. My regular whole wheat flour at about 120 grams.
I went camping this weekend and brought along a pile of these grahams to use for s’mores. They were a huge hit! I was out of honey, so I used maple syrup and added a splash of bourbon along with the molasses. YUM. I’m never buying graham crackers (cookies?) again.
If you swapped half the strawberries with rhubarb, do you have any thoughts on how to change the sugar ratio?
You could drop it slightly, but there’s no exact science to it.
This is the second recipe of yours I have tried. Both times I was looking for recipes with strawberries to go through the ones we picked this week. I honestly cannot articulate how delicious these tarlets are. I love smell of them baking. The scent of the lemon zest. The collision of flavors. So good! I cannot wait for my husband to get home just so I can share these with him :)
So I halved the sugar and honey in these and replaced the molasses with treacle (as that’s what we have here in Aus) and not surprisingly, found the dough a bit crumbly due to a lack of moisture so I added a tiny smidgen of milk to soften it which worked wonders. They baked up beautifully (I tried one with just plain ricotta and cut up strawberries!) and I can’t wait to have them fully put together as per the recipe :-)
Hey Deb, I have some leftover chocolate buttercream icing and wanted to make sandwich cookies with this recipe. Do you think I could get away with substituting peanut butter for butter? Would it have to be the non-natural kind (JIF)? PS First time commenting so also wanted to say you’re a genius, love your blog and your book, props props props to you.
Amelia — Peanut butter for the butter in the graham cookie? I don’t find that they work the same in baked goods, so I probably wouldn’t go in that direction.
Could these be made in mini tart dishes?
The base is more a cookie and less a tart shell so I’m not positive but it cannot hurt to find out. I don’t think it would taste bad or anything, regardless. ;)
Delicious “graham crackers” for s’mores. I rolled the dough between wax paper and refrigerated it. Then used a pizza cutter to cuts squares. Very tasty cookies. Versatile. Genius.