Let Spring In With These Lemon-Ricotta Bars
Certain flavors just belong in certain seasons: apple cider and pumpkin in the fall, peppermint and chocolate in winter. For spring, we love light and citrusy flavors, like these Lemon-Ricotta Bars from Food52! The taste of lemon and the light, fluffy crust have us dreaming of green fields, new flowers, and sunny days.
– 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 (or 1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into 1 inch pieces, slightly softened
– Extra butter for greasing pan
– 8 ounces (or 1 cup) fresh whole milk Ricotta, drained
– 4 large eggs, beaten
– 1 1/3 cup granulated sugar
– 3 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour
– 2 tablespoons lemon zest
– 2/3 cup lemon juice (or about the juice from 3 to 4 large lemons), strained
– 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Move oven rack to middle spot. Using a pastry brush, lightly butter a 13-by-9-inch baking dish and line with one sheet of parchment paper. Butter the parchment paper, then lay a second sheet crosswise over it.
- Put the flour, confectioner’s sugar, cornstarch, lemon zest and salt in a food processor and pulse.
- Add butter and process to blend. Pulse until the mixture is pale yellow and resembles a coarse meal.
- Sprinkle the mixture into the lined pan and press it firmly into an even layer. It should cover the entire pan bottom and go about a 1/2 inch up the sides.
- Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- Take the crust out of the refrigerator and bake 20 minutes, until light golden brown.
- Reduce the oven temperature to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Whisk the ricotta, eggs, sugar, and flour in a medium bowl.
- Stir in the lemon zest, juice, and salt, blending well.
- Stir the filling mixture a final time before pouring it into the warm crust.
- Bake for about 30 minutes, until the fillings feels firm when touched lightly.
- Transfer pan to wire rack. Cool to room temperature, for at least 2 hours.
- Lift up on the parchment paper to remove bars from pan. Transfer to cutting board, fold paper down, and cut into bars using a knife or a pizza cutter, wiping knife.
- Dust with confectioner’s sugar. (Optional)
Biting into these bars makes it feel like spring has arrived early. What are your favorite spring desserts? What flavors make you think of flowers and warmer temperatures?