This week I was back to Sorrento, in Italy, to visit my family. I asked my brother Francesco to make some gluten free deliziose with fresh ricotta and semi-candied pears together. In my opinion, small pleasures taste always sweeter if shared.

This tart is typical from this area and I have always loved it since I was little.

Besides my dad was offered some “garofanelle” pears by our friend Ausilia who picked them up from her garden, they are so good!

The hazelnuts we are using for the shortcrust pastry are from my aunt Rachele’s garden: when I am here, I am so spoilt as my family and friends grow their own fruit and vegetables, and everything is super fresh and so tasty!


Break the hazelnuts, grill them in the oven at 160°, they are ready when they turn golden brown and the skin is easily removed from the fruit. Have them cool down. Remove the skin. Put them in a plastic bag and in the freezer for 5 hours, in this way the hazelnuts oils will remain intact. Put them in a mixer with 40 gr of caster sugar that you take from the amount you need for the pastry. Mix them.


Sift the rice flour. In a kneading machine bowl add the flour, the hazelnuts, the sugar, the cold butter cut in small cubes, the grated skin of one fresh lemon, and mix the ingredients very slowly with the help of the “leaf” beater.

When they reach a wet sand-like consistency, add the eggs. Mix them always slowly until they become a homogeneous pastry dough.


Put the shortcrust pastry dough in a wrap and put it to chill in the fridge for one night.


Now the semi-candied pears: peel the pears and cut them in two halves.

In a large pot add the water, the sugar, all the spices, the skin of one lemon, and bring the water to a light boil.

Add the pears and cook them over low heat from 10 to 15 minutes: they are ready when you can insert a fork gently.

Turn off the heat, drain the juice out (you can store it and use it later for other recipes, it is very tasty ;).

Let the pears cool down and dry in a bowl. Cut them in small cubes.


Let’s take the shortcrust pastry dough out of the fridge.

On a kitchen work table put one sheet of greaseproof paper, add some flour and then the shortcrust pastry dough. Add some flour on the pastry and put another sheet of greaseproof paper on top of it.

Now the pastry is in between two greaseproof papers.

Start  rolling out the pastry dough until it gets 1/2 cm thick.

If the pastry gets too sticky along the way, add more rice flour.

With a coppapasta (a mould for pastry) cut the pastry into 6,5 / 7 cm diameter discs.

Put them in a non-stick baking tray, pre-heat the over to 170°.

Cook them for about 15 minutes. Let them cool down completely.


Put the ricotta into a bowl, add the acacia honey and whisk gently.

Add the pears, the cinnamon powder, the vanilla grains and mix gently with a spatula.

Take one disc, add some ricotta, put another disc on top, press gently and adjust the ricotta making sure you don’t leave any empty space all around the disc. It should look like ours below.


Dispose 50 gr of mixed grilled hazelnuts onto a dish, roll the deliziose tarts in the mix so that the hazelnuts will stick to the ricotta.

Serve with some icing sugar on top.



Recipe for 10 people


Shortcrust pastry

– 220 gr rice flour
– 140 gr butter
– 100 gr caster sugar
– 120 gr hazelnuts
(70 gr for the pastry + 50 gr to roll the tarts)
– 1 egg + 1 egg yolk
– the grated skin of 1 lemon


Semi-candied pears

– 500 gr unripe pears
– 500 gr water
– 150 gr caster sugar
– half vanilla bean
– 1 star anise
– 1 clove
– a bit of a cinnamon stick
– 10 green cardamom seeds
– the skin of 1 lemon



– 500 gr ricotta
– 3 tablespoons of acacia honey (5 if you like it sweeter)
– 1 coffeespoon of cinnamon powder
– the grains of half a vanilla bean


Recipe by Francesco and Chiara

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