Lemon Ricotta Tart

Tomorrow marks Memorial Day and the start of the grillin' season. To celebrate, we're heading down to the in-laws' for some grilled meats and sunshine in the backyard. It would seem that I am unable to visit someone without bringing along some sort of food or three. For this particular occasion, I chose potato salad (even though I really hate peeling eggs) and what was to be either lemon bars or a lemon tart. The time came this afternoon when the potato salad was complete and it was time to make a dessert. I looked at the recipe I planned on using for bars, compared it to the tart recipe and decided they were exactly the same thing using different presentation. Then, I started to wonder if I really wanted to use 10 eggs and 1 1/2 sticks of butter. I was willing to do it, but I knew there was something else out there. I settled upon a sweet tart crust courtesy of Smitten Kitchen with a minor tweak and a lemon ricotta filling. This reduced my egg usage to 3, butter to 1 stick and used only one lemon. The ricotta part came from having had a tub sitting in the fridge for a bit waiting for some pasta to come along and use it.

I clearly went way overboard in the decorating, selecting the best of the purchased blackberries, straining the seeds out of some raspberry jam and making artistic use of the pastry brush. A little thing I learned: when your only fine mesh sieve is dirty and you don't want to wash much more, a tea strainer does a fine job of evenly dusting confectioner's sugar. Stroke of genius!

It certainly looks pretty, but the recipe for filling made a perfect amount for filling the tart shell, so I have no idea how it will taste. The conclusion of that will have to wait until someone eats some.

Lemon Ricotta Tart
(375* for 25-30 mins to blind bake crust,
350* for 20-25 mins for completed tart)

For the crust:

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup confectioner's sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
1 stick plus 1 Tbsp. cold butter, cut into small pieces
1 egg
1/2 tsp. almond extract

Place the flour sugar and salt in the bowl of a food processor and pulse 5 or so times to combine. Sprinkle the butter pieces over the flour mixture and pule 8 times or so until it resembles coarse cornmeal with some larger pieces of butter remaining. Add egg and almond extract and pulse just until it starts to stick together. This can be tested by pinching some between your fingers.

Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and roll out to fit into a 9" tart pan with a removable bottom. Gently place in tart shell, trim to 1/2" border (I fed the excess to Luke) and tuck border under to fortify outside crust. Place crust in the freezer for 30 mins. and preheat the oven to 375*.

When the oven is hot, place the pan on a rimmed baking sheet and, pressing to achieve a close fit, line the shell with aluminum foil. Bake for 20-25 mins., remove the foil and bake for another 5.

While the shell bakes, prepare the filling:

4 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
the zest of 1 lemon
2 eggs
12 oz. ricotta cheese
1/4 c. sugar

Combine ingredients in a bowl and, when the tart shell has finished baking, remove it from the oven, reduce the temperature to 350* and pour in the filling. For a proper set, the tart shell should still be warm. Place the tart back in the oven and bake for 20 mins. until the middle wobbles just slightly. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely. Dust with confectioner's sugar or decorate as desired.

Edit: Diagnosis? Delicious! One guest even told me she'd be willing to pay $40 for one. There wasn't a crumb left.


  1. good stuff!!
    be careful on feeding all your excesses to luke or someday he will need to wash himself with a rag on a stick.

  2. Rag on a stick! Bahahahaah!