One thing I am very proud of our country is the devotion Dominicans have for their traditional cuisine. No matter our economic status, comfort food is always Dominican food to us. This is a strange way to introduce a decidedly-non-traditional recipe: Guava, Vanilla and Ricotta Cheese Tart.
But Dominicans are opening their palate to new things, and the internet has played a part in it. When we started this project of writing about food and life in the Dominican Republic there few to none other Dominican websites dedicated to food. This has changed, and there are many excellent Dominican culinary blogs out there.
And Dominicans don’t only visit Dominican blogs and websites, there is a wealth of recipes out there. Never has it been easier to access great recipes for free. Isn’t the internet beautiful?
We combine the loving task of documenting our culinary heritage with creating new recipes inspired by our cuisine and our life adventures. And we are not alone.
My friend Sagrario shares the recipes of her print magazine on Vainilla y Azafrán. Mari from Mari’s Cakes writes about the cakes she makes in her bakery, as well as some traditional Dominican recipes. Jackie, university professor and baking teacher on the side, shares her sweet concoctions on Las Delicias del Buen Vivir. Nerise shares her favorite recipes in Delicioso y Ligero.
I also love that many Dominican bloggers living abroad do try to keep in touch with their heritage and this reflects in their writing: The uber-creative Carrol Luna shares great recipes and fantastic videos. The sweet Melissa shares some of her favorite Dominican recipes in Hungry Food Love. The veteran cook Esmirna shares her Dominican Flavors all the way from Arizona. The very inspiring Eileen writes about surviving cancer and eating for health in The Speach. Marnely, the friendliest pastry chef on earth shares her original creations on Cooking with Books. From Spain Rosilet brings us lots of desserts and a few savory dishes on Sugg-r. And when I need a laugh and some inspiration the clever Angela from Mind Over Batter is always there.
The best part of this is that I keep in touch with each of these fantastic people, they are the awesomest group of colleagues one could ever hope for. Their hard work and creativity inspires me and pushes me to get better at what I do. Do pay them a visit and tell them their Aunt Clara sent you.
And then sit for a cup of coffee and a slice of this little piece of heaven.
Guava, Vanilla and Ricotta Cheese Tart is that slice of heaven.
I love guava, it is a reminder of the bounty of the tropics. I had this idea going around my head for a long, long time. Until I went through a cheesecake stage (there’ll be more coming) and just made it. And then shared with my yoga friends who approved. Now that I know it works, I see myself making more of this and topping it with other fruit jams. The sky is the limit!
- 3 lb [1.4 kg] of guava
- 3/4 cup of sugar
- 8 oz [0.7 kg] of whole-wheat graham crackers
- 1/3 stick (0.20 lb [85.05 gram]) of butter
- 2 cups (1 lb [0.45 kg]) of low-fat ricotta
- 2 medium eggs
- 1 1/2 cup of condensed milk
- 1 vainilla pod
Wash the guavas and separate the seeds from the flesh, make sure there are no seeds left behind as they will remain very hard even after cooking and biting into one may even chip a tooth. Reserve the flesh.
Mix the seeds with a 1 1/2 quart [1.5 lt] of water and the sugar. Simmer over low heat until the liquid has reduced to a third.
Sieve to remove the seeds. Add the guava flesh to the liquid. Simmer over low heat until the liquid has further reduced to half. Remove from the heat and cool to room temperature.
Mix in a blender until there are no clumps. Return to the heat and simmer stirring over low heat until it becomes very thick.
Remove from the heat and reserve.
Place chilled butter and graham crackers in the food processor and pulse until it resembles coarse brown sugar.
Pour into a 9" [23.5 cm] pie pan. Press on the bottom and sides to form the crust. Chill in the fridge for an hour.
Heat oven to 300 ºF [150 ºC]
Open the pod lengthwise and scrape out the seeds with a paring knife.
Mix ricotta, vanilla seeds and condensed milk in the mixer (use paddle attachment).
Add eggs and mix thoroughly.
Pour the ricotta mix into the chilled crust.
Bake for 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and cover with the guava jam.
Chill before serving.