Lemon Ricotta Bars

I’m a sucker for anything lemon! These Lemon Ricotta Bars have a melt-in-your-mouth crust and a lemony custard filling that’s extremely light and fluffy with the addition of the ricotta cheese. You can finish the bars off with a sprinkle of confectioner’s sugar or go without. Either way they are a delicious citrus Spring treat!

Lemon Ricotta Bars
  • 1¾ cups all-purpose flour
  • ⅔ cup confectioners' sugar
  • ¼ cup cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • 12 tablespoons unsalted butter (1½ sticks), cut into 1-inch pieces, slightly softened plus extra for greasing the pan
  • 8 ounces (1 cup) fresh whole milk Ricotta, drained
  • 4 large eggs, beaten
  • 1⅓ cups granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons lemon zest
  • ⅔ cup lemon juice (from 3 to 4 large lemons)
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  1. To make the crust adjust the oven rack to the 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.
  2. Pulse the 1¾ cups flour, ⅔ cup confectioner's sugar, ¼ cup cornstarch, 1 tablespoon of lemon zest and ¾ teaspoon of salt in a food processor. Add 12 tablespoons of butter and process to blend; then pulse until mixture is pale yellow and resembles coarse meal.
  3. Sprinkle mixture into lined pan and, press firmly with fingers into even layer over entire pan bottom and about ½-inch up sides. Refrigerate for 30 minutes, and then bake until light golden brown, about 20 minutes.
  4. 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.
  5. 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 clean between cuts.
  6. Dust with confectioner's sugar.