Essentials’ Megan Chalmers unleashes a decadent dessert – Poached Fruit Crostata Tart with Lemon Ricotta Ice cream – the perfect accompaniment to the changing summer-to-autumn season.

Poached Seasonal Fruit

Choose your own fruit selection; we used 2 persimmons, 2 peaches, 2 nectarines and 2 pears
4 cups cold water
3 cups brown sugar
1 large knob of ginger, peeled and grated
juice and zest of 1 lemon
1 vanilla pod, seeds scraped


1. Place all ingredients except the fruit in a saucepan and bring to the boil.

2. Reduce heat to a simmer, add the fruit and poach until soft.

3. Allow fruit to cool in liquid to infuse flavours. Can be preserved in jars.

Crostata Pastry

2 cups plain flour, sifted
½ tsp baking powder
Pinch salt
½ cup caster sugar
1 egg, lightly beaten
½ tsp vanilla extract
120g cold, unsalted butter, finely chopped
zest of 1 lemon
demerara sugar for sprinkling over the pastry crust


1. In a large bowl add 1 cup of flour, baking powder, sugar, pinch of salt and mix well.

2. Add the egg and vanilla extract and work into the flour using a spoon.

3. Add the cold chopped butter to the flour and gently mix, pinching the butter and flour together with your fingertips. Add the remaining 1 cup of flour and continue to work the mixture into a dough form.

4. Turn the dough out onto a floured work surface and gently knead until a smooth ball of dough has formed.

5. Cover the dough with cling wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Crostata Method

Preheat oven to 200C

1. Lightly dust a large piece of baking paper with flour.

2. Place the dough onto the baking paper with a rolling pin, roll into a 30cm diameter circle.

3. Transfer the baking paper with rolled pastry dough onto an oven tray.

4. Arrange the prepared poached fruits by placing into the centre of the rolled pastry dough, leaving a 4 cm border around the edges.

5. Once the fruit has been arranged, gently fold the edges of pastry towards the centre to form a 4cm crust around the tart; sprinkle the crust with demerara sugar.

6. Bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes until the pastry is golden and cooked through.

7. Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly.

Poached Fruit Crostata Tart with Lemon Ricotta Ice cream

Lemon Ricotta Ice cream

Makes 500g

150ml thickened cream
225ml full cream milk
5 egg yolks
60g caster sugar
1 vanilla pod, halved and scraped
1 cup smooth ricotta
zest of 1 lemon


1. In a heavy-based saucepan add cream, milk and scraped vanilla pod and beans. Bring to a gentle simmer
then remove from heat.

2. In a large bowl, whisk together yolks and caster sugar until thick and creamy.

3. Gradually pour the hot milk and cream mixture over the prepared egg yolks, whisking continuously until all
ingredients are combined well.

4. Return the mixture to the saucepan and cook over a low heat for 6-8 minutes, stirring continuously until the mixture thickens and coats the back of the spoon. You have now created an anglaise.

5. Remove the saucepan from the heat and strain the anglaise into a glass bowl through a fine sieve.

6. While the anglaise is cooling, fold through ricotta and lemon zest. Allow the strained anglaise to cool completely.

How to complete your ice cream using a food processor


1. Pour cooled vanilla ricotta anglaise into a large ziplock bag.

2. Lay the sealed ziplock bag on a flat tray and place in the freezer; chill until completely frozen.

3. Remove the bag of frozen ice cream base from the freezer and, while still inside the locked bag, smash the contents on a kitchen benchtop until the frozen ice cream base has shattered into small pieces.

4. Remove the shattered frozen ice cream base from the ziplock bag and place in a food processor.

5. Blitz until smooth and creamy.

6. Remove the smooth, blitzed ice cream from the food processor and transfer to an ice cream container of
your choice. Store the finished ice cream in freezer.

To Serve

zest of 1 lemon
4-5 baby mint leaves
almond flakes, lightly pan toasted
Spiced Poached Plums poaching liquid, reduced to a syrup (see recipe pxx)

Serve the tart whole with a scoop of Lemon Ricotta Ice cream topped with fresh lemon zest. Garnish the tart with toasted almond flakes, baby mint leaves, poaching spices and reduced poaching syrup.

Digital Subscription to Essentials Magazine Australia

Please Support Australian Journalism
Your contribution to the longevity of Australian journalism is important to us. Contribute by Subscribing to our digital issues. 1 year Digital Subscriptions include access to all 40+ issues of Essentials Magazine dating back 15 years; and only costs $49 AUD. Visit our Subscriptions page to buy now.

Subscribe to our News App for iOS and Android for FREE. Note: does not include access to any magazine issues. To download, simply search for 'Essentials Magazine Australia' in the App Store (Apple) OR Google Play Store (Android) to download the app. Thank you. Jamie Durrant, editor.

Comments are closed.