Lemon Ricotta Bars
It’s not surprising that I love lemon desserts. I love them in crepes, muffins, pie-you name it. And while I haven’t made anything lemony in a while-sometimes you wake up with a craving. You just gotta have some intense citrusy flavors to start your day. Pucker up, my friends!
Marlina made these bars last year and it was a huge hit in our household. My dad ate more than his fair share-I guess he is more than a lemon lover than we are. We loved its light but dense texture. The ricotta makes this filling smooth and slightly creamy. Best of all, it’s not too tart but not too sweet. I would have to say it’s the perfect balance. Don’t even get me started about the crust…the lemon zest addition is perfect. Plus the crust isn't thin-it’s quite thick, actually. Considering it’s for a 9X13 inch pan, it holds up well against the filling!
Lemon Ricotta Bars
Makes 18 (2-inches squares)
Slightly softened butter for greasing the pan
For the crust:
1 ¾ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2/3 cup confectioners' sugar
1 tablespoon lemon zest
¾ teaspoon salt
12 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks), cut into 1-inch pieces
For the lemon-ricotta filling:
8oz (1 cup) fresh whole milk Ricotta, drained
4 large eggs, beaten
1 1/3 cups granulated sugar
3 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons lemon zest
2/3 cup lemon juice from 2-3 large lemons, strained
¼ teaspoon salt
Confectioner’s sugar, for dusting
To make the crust:
Adjust the oven rack to the middle third. Heat to 350 degrees. Lightly butter a 9X13 inch baking dish & line with one sheet parchment paper. Butter the paper, then lay the second sheet crosswise over it (this will be useful later when removing the bars from the pan!)
With a food processor, pulse the flour, confectioner’s sugar, lemon zest, salt & butter. The mixture should resemble a coarse meal. Sprinkle evenly on the 9X13 inch pan and press firmly with your figures to create an even layer. Refrigerate for 30 minutes, then bake in the oven for 20 minutes.
To make the filling:
In a medium sized bowl, whisk together the ricotta, eggs, sugar & flour until well combined. Stir in the lemon zest, lemon juice & salt until blended.
Reduce the temperature of the oven to 325 degrees. Stir the filling mixture before pouring into the crust.
Bake for an additional 30 minutes. The filling should be firm when lightly touched.
Transfer the pan to a wire rack, then cool to room temperature. Refridgerate for an additional 2 hours.
To remove from the pan, lift the handles of the parchment paper & transfer to a cutting board. Fold the paper down & cut into bars. Clean the knife inbetween cuts.
Dust with confectioner’s sugar as needed.
Source: minimally adapted from Food52