Dec 4, 2016

Recipe: Lemon Ricotta Bars

The holiday baking season has officially begun! I love baking at any time of the year, but especially at Christmastime. It's so fun to make something from scratch, fill it with love, and share it with people I care about!

Lemon-Ricotta Bars (recipe below!)
The holiday season is not only a time to make friends and loved ones smile, but also to try to be a bit kinder to everyone. I think that spirit of goodwill should include other animals, too! That's why I like to bake with free range eggs.

I used Pete and Gerry's Organic Eggs for these lemon ricotta bars and they make it a more humane dessert! Pete and Gerry's source their eggs sustainably from small family farms and all of their eggs are certified humane free range eggs. 

Pete and Gerry's Organic Eggs free of antibiotics, hormones, pesticides, and GMOs. Their hens live safe, comfortable lives with ready access to grass, dirt, and space to engage in natural behaviors like roosting, dust bathing, scratching, and other social interactions. Follow @PeteandGerrys on Facebook and Twitter for more information!

Anyway, back to the lemon ricotta bars.

Read on for the recipe!

Lemon Ricotta Bars

Makes 16 Squares

Crust -

* 1.75 c. unbleached all-purpose flour
* 0.67 c. confectioner's sugar
* 0.25 c. cornstarch
* 0.75 tsp. salt
* Zest of 2 large lemons
* 0.75 c. softened butter, sliced

Filling -

* 1 c. fresh whole milk ricotta, drained (if you don't have cheesecloth, you can use a colander lined with coffee filters)
* 1.33 c. granulated sugar
* 3 Tbsp. unbleached all-purpose flour
* Zest of 2 large lemons
* Lemon juice from 3 large lemons, strained (~2/3c. liquid)
* 0.25 tsp. salt

1. Line a 9x9 inch baking dish with parchment paper.

2. Butter the paper.

3. In a food processor, pulse the flour, confectioner's sugar, cornstarch, lemon zest, and salt (for the dough only).

4. Add the softened butter and blend. Once it's blended, pulse the mixture until it's pale yellow and crumbly.

5. Sprinkle the mixture into the lined pan and press it firmly down into an even layer.

Want to follow along on my holiday adventures (almost) live? Follow me on Instagram @danaikadzere!
6. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

7. Bake the crust at 350F in the middle rack of a preheated oven for ~30 minutes, or until light golden brown.

8. Meanwhile, make the filling. Whisk the drained ricotta, beaten eggs, sugar, and flour in a medium bowl.

9. Mix in the lemon zest, lemon juice, and salt. Blend well.

10. Reduce the oven temperature to 325F.

11. Stir the filling mixture again, then pour onto the warm crust.

12. Bake for 30 minutes, or until the filling feels firm when touched gently.

13. Cool the pan on a wire rack for at least 2 hours, until it's at room temperature.

14. Transfer to a cutting board and fold down the parchment paper.

15. Cut into bars. Between each cut, wipe the knife clean to prevent sloppy lines.

Optional: Dust with confectioner's sugar.


What are you baking this holiday season?

What is your favorite bar recipe? Links welcome!

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