I love lemon bars and I love ricotta cheese so it only seemed natural to put them together. The ricotta cheese gave the lemon bars a lighter and fluffier texture than normal lemon bars and made for a tangy yet refreshing summer treat. I brought them into the hospital for my hardworking team and they ate them up pretty quickly!
I’ve been practicing my food styling from my food photography class with Betty Liu and Cottage Farm so I got a little creative with the photo set ups for this recipe. Some of the tips I employed for this shoot was styling using remnants of ingredients (like the juiced lemon rinds and egg shells) and using cheese cloth to add simple texture to the backdrop. One of my favorite things about these photos is the oyster shaped ceramic plate made by Ae ceramics in Maine that I picked up the the Portland Trading Co. in Portland, Maine. I am a little obsessed with this plate which may look familiar to you if you have ever dined at Eventide Oyster Co., also in Portland, Maine. I am planning to add to my collection next time I am in Portland!
Lemon Ricotta Bars (from Food52)
For the Crust
- 1 3/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 2/3 cup confectioners’ sugar
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 12 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks), cut into 1-inch pieces, slightly softened plus extra for greasing pan
- 8oz (1 cup) fresh whole milk Ricotta, drained
- 4 large eggs, beaten
- 1 1/3cups granulated sugar
- 3 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons lemon zest
- 2/3 cup lemon juice from 3 to 4 large lemons, strained
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- To make the crust: Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees.
- Using a pastry brush, lightly butter a 13-by-9-inch baking dish and line with one sheet parchment paper. Butter paper, then lay second sheet crosswise over it.
- Pulse flour, confectioner’s sugar, cornstarch, lemon zest and salt in food processor.
- Add butter and process to blend; then pulse until mixture is pale yellow and resembles coarse meal.
- Sprinkle mixture into lined pan and, press firmly with fingers into even layer over entire pan bottom and about 1/2-inch up sides.
- Refrigerate for 30 minutes, and then bake until light golden brown, about 20 minutes.
- To make the filling: Whisk ricotta, eggs, sugar, and flour in medium bowl, then stir in lemon zest, juice, and salt to blend well.
- Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees.
- Stir filling mixture before pouring into warm crust.
- Bake until filling feels firm when touched lightly, about 30 minutes.
- Transfer pan to wire rack; cool to room temperature, at least 2 hours.
- Transfer to cutting board, fold paper down, and cut into bars, wiping knife or pizza cutter clean between cuts.
- Dust with confectioner’s sugar.