Lemon Ricotta and Pistachio Tarts

This recipe is the dessert course of a 1-Hour Sicilian inspired 3-Course Valentine’s Day menu.  To see the complete menu and a detailed shopping list, visit this post! Ever been to Sicily?  If you have, then you know pistachios are everywhere- especially in pastries and gelato. Did you know that pistachios were first introduced to the Sicily via Middle Easterners in the 13th century?  It turns out eastern Sicily’s volcanic soil is optimal for growing pistachio trees.  Still grown on the island although on a smaller scale, sicilian pistachios are longer, thinner, and known for a stronger and sharper flavor than other varieties.  Most of the pistachios grown on the island…

1-Hour Valentines Day 3-Course Sicilian Inspired Menu (+ Shopping List!)

Gourmet made Simple Last week, the first new, original content of 2018 posted on Almost Properly.  I wanted to start the year with a band and also, stay focused on the direction and vision I have for the site in 2018: simple, original, gourmet-feeling recipes for hosting and entertaining! I’ll let you in on a little secret, I love when entire meals are cohesive.  Courses should complement, flow, and create a balanced profile of flavors and textures from start to finish.  This sounds like a complicated, labor intensive concept, but it really doesn’t have to be. Think about a tapestry.  Threads of many colors and textures run throughout the entire…

Persimmon Walnut Cream Tart with Shortbread Crust

You can always make pumpkin pie.  Or pecan.  Or you can switch things up a bit.  In truth, we almost never stick with the pumpkin/pecan staples.  And I’m not saying you should follow suite.  But when Thanksgiving doesn’t look all that traditional around here, why should dessert?  How about a persimmon tart with a walnut cream frangipane, and a much-easier-than-pie-crust shortbread crust?!  Plus, shortbread crust is roughly 10 times tastier and 100x less fickle than pie crust. I’m always shocked how few people have tried persimmons.  What are your thoughts??  I love persimmons.  I’ll even eat them raw.  The slightly spicy flavor pairs perfectly with the cloves, cinnamon, and nutmeg…
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