- Approximately 3 pounds baby artichokes (look for the elongated and pointy purplish ones) – or – one 12-oz bag of frozen artichoke hearts
- 2 lemons (1 reserved for the filling)
- 2 1/2 cups white cane sugar, divided
- 1 cup all-purpose flour plus extra for rolling the lattice
- ½ cup unsalted butter (1 stick) at room temperature
- 2 eggs
- A pinch of salt
- 8 ounces fresh whole-milk ricotta
- Cut 1 lemon in half. Into a medium sized saucepan, juice the lemon and then add the lemon halves. Fill the pot halfway with water.
- Snap off the thick fibrous outside leaves of the artichokes until you reach the pale yellow inner leaves. With a bread knife, cut off the top 1/3 of the artichoke and trim the stems of any dried unattractive ends. Place in the lemon/water pot as you go–this keeps the artichokes from turning brown. Alternatively, add the frozen artichoke hearts to the pot.
- In the pot, add 1 cup of sugar and stir well to dissolve. Add more water if needed to cover the artichokes.
- Place the pot over high heat with the lid on and bring to a boil. Reduce to simmer and place the lid ajar. Simmer until the artichoke hearts are very tender, about 1 hour. Cool in the cooking liquid. Discard the lemon halves and drain the artichokes. Pick over them for any lemon seeds. Place in a container in the refrigerator until ready for use.
- Combine the flour, 1/2 cup sugar, butter, eggs and salt in a bowl. Blend using a hand-held pastry blender or a stand mixer until dough is formed. Avoid over-mixing. Use your hands to gather up the dough into a ball.
- Place the ball between two large sheets of wax paper and flatten into a disk with the palm of your hand. Refrigerate for 1 hour.
- In a bowl, add the ricotta, 1 cup of sugar the grated skin of 1 lemon (use the juice of the lemon for another purpose). Whisk until well combined. Add the reserved artichoke hearts and stir to combine.
- Preheat the oven to 350ºF.
- Remove the dough in the wax paper from the fridge and place on a wooden board. Remove a golf ball-sized chunk of dough for the lattice and place back in the fridge.
- Quickly roll out the dough to slightly larger than the size of the tart pan (to a thickness slightly less than a ¼ -inch). Peel away one sheet of the wax paper and invert the dough on the tart pan.
- Gently press the dough into place patching up any holes. Tear away extra dough and reshape the circle to the shape of the tart pan.
- Pour the prepared artichoke-and-ricotta mixture to the tart pan, and smooth into corners.
- Sprinkle a little flour on the board. Remove the remaining dough from the fridge. Roll the dough on the board and cut into 1/2-inch strips with a pastry cutter. Create a “lattice” over the filling in the tart pan.
- Place on the middle rack of the oven and bake for about 30 minutes, until the crust is lightly browned.
- Remove to a cooling rack and cool completely. Remove the tart from the pan, slice and serve.
- Hand-held pastry blender or stand mixer with paddle attachment
- Wax paper
- Tart pan with a removable bottom (I used a 9-inch square pan)
- Rolling pin and wooden rolling surface
- Pastry cutter