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Esurientes - The Comfort Zone

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Lemon Ricotta Slice

Another use for the glut of lemons in Melbourne at the moment - a nice, old-fashioned lemon slice. This slice is a bit more unusual than your standard, though, with a smooth, creamy lemon topping made by adding ricotta cheese to the usual lemon, cream and egg mixture, on top of a buttery shortbread base. I guess it's a light, lemony cheesecake in bar form, really.
I actually used cottage cheese in my version, as that's what I had at the time, and I imagined it might make a lighter, more health-conscious topping. The fact of the truckloads of butter in the base seemed to escape me....but I think you could use an olive oil spread or light butter in the base without any significant change in flavour or texture. The cottage cheese instead of ricotta in the topping gave a slightly more grainy texture, which wasn't entirely unpleasant, but I do think ricotta is a better option if you're not as concerned about health, or going to the supermarket late at night, as I was.
I never really grew up with slices; my family didn't make them and I never really went for them in the school tuckshop, so it's a bit of a novelty to play around with a few now. This one is really easy to make and has a good lemony taste. Nothing worse than a lemon slice that isn't lemony enough - I mean, what's the point? This one's a good one.
Read on for the recipe:

Lemon Ricotta Slice
200g (1 3/4 cups) plain flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
150g butter, melted
210g (1 cup) caster sugar
4 eggs
350g (1 1/3 cups) ricotta cheese
200ml (3/4 cup) cream
2 tablespoons lemon zest
185ml (3/4 cup) lemon juice
icing sugar to dust
Preheat the oven to 180C (350F/Gas 4). Lightly grease a 20x30cm baking tin and line with baking paper, hanging over the two long sides.
Put the flour, baking powder, butter and half the caster sugar in a food processor and process in short bursts until the mixture comes together in a ball. Add 1 egg and process until combined.
Press the mixture into the tin. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven. Reduce the oven to 150C (300F/Gas 2).
Place the ricotta, cream, lemon zest and juice, the remaining sugar and remaining eggs in the cleaned food processor and combine the ingredients for 1-2 seconds. Pour onto the pastry base and bake for 25-30 minutes - the slice will have a slight wobble at this stage.
Cool slightly, then refrigerate for 2 hours to firm. Cut into pieces. Dust with icing sugar and serve.
Makes 15 pieces.


  • That sure is a great looking slice!
    hmmm there is a bit of a glut of lemons up here too.

    By Blogger eat stuff, at 7/28/2005 05:35:00 pm  

  • phwoar! that looks absolutely delicious :)

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7/28/2005 10:06:00 pm  

  • Beautiful bars Niki. They're making me drool!

    By Blogger Ana, at 7/28/2005 11:17:00 pm  

  • Every month I bake a batch of chocolate chip cookies and I was only thinking a slice would be nice for a change - I think this one looks like the one!

    By Blogger Amanda, at 7/29/2005 03:33:00 am  

  • Yum! Another baking triumph! I think I'll be printing this one out and adding it to my pile of "Recipes To Bake Soon" (which is almost entirely recipes from your blog!).

    By Blogger Kelly, at 7/29/2005 08:36:00 am  

  • This looks divine. Did you make the recipe up yourself? It looks really tangy and delicious.

    By Blogger Books and Tea For Two, at 7/29/2005 09:05:00 am  

  • Are they hard or soft? They sound like they should be soft, but look hard. hmm. Look nice whichever, mind.

    By Blogger FactoBrunt, at 7/29/2005 09:45:00 pm  

  • hi niki, that looks like a slice of heaven...thanks for the recipe...cheers,j

    By Blogger Joycelyn, at 7/31/2005 01:08:00 pm  

  • I really need to try my hand at a slice some day. It looks so pretty!

    I tagged you for a little meme!

    By Blogger Anne, at 8/01/2005 05:01:00 pm  

  • Clare - Aussies and lemons - a great tradition!

    Shauna - thanks Pussycat!

    Ana - thank you

    Lushlife - I dunno, I reckon a good choc chip cookie can't be beat, but for a change, a slice is so homely and tasty.

    Kelly - what a compliment! Wow! That's made my day!

    Ben_zen8 - the recipe is based on one I have in a bizarre little book full of baking recipes and pretty pictures. It's extremely poorly edited and organised, so I even had to make my own index (yes, a true librarian!). This is the first recipe I've made from it, and I hope it's a good sign for the rest.

    Factobrunt - Yes, they're soft, but I froze them after taking them from the oven, and sliced them up when still partly frozen, to give them cleaner lines, so that's why they might look hard?

    J - my slice of heaven would involve....hmmmm...that's a good question. I'll have to think about that one!

    Anne - slices are really very easy, and perfect to bring along to functions where you need to bring things that are individually portioned. I'll check out the meme.

    By Blogger Niki, at 8/03/2005 10:56:00 pm  

  • Sounds a peach of a job - congratulations!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8/05/2005 05:15:00 pm  

  • I'm in the process of cleaning out the larder as I am moving house. Had all the ingredients for a traditional "slice" but had packed my recipe books so needed to search for a pastry base online. I used the base you use in this recipe. For the top I used a mixture of nuts, coconut, mixed fruit peel, three eggs and 100 gm sugar. It smells fantastic and the pastry came out beautifully. I've saved your WHOLE recipe to prepare when I reach my new home. Thanks for being here! Happy cooking!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6/05/2006 02:39:00 am  

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