I know this headline is pretty controversial, but even if you are a PSL-lover and have tried every pumpkin-spice-flavored treat on Thayer, you might find these lemon bars unseasonably refreshing. To make my lemon bars, I ended up settling on a Food52 variation of the ever-classic desert that makes use of ricotta, and when has cheese not made anything infinitely better?
Recipe for lemon ricotta squares:
- 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 2/3 cup confectioners’ sugar
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 12 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks)
- 8oz (1 cup) fresh whole milk Ricotta
- 4 large eggs
- 1 1/3cups granulated sugar
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons lemon zest
- 2/3 cup lemon juice
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees, and lightly butter a baking dish and line with one sheet parchment paper. Butter paper, then lay second sheet crosswise over it. I didn’t have parchment paper handy, so I aggressively buttered the pan and hoped for the best. The pan clean-up wasn’t seamless, but nobody complained about the extra butter.
Sprinkle the dough into lined pan and, press firmly with fingers into even layer over entire pan bottom and about 1/2-inch up sides. Refrigerate for 30 minutes, and then bake for about 20 minutes until golden brown.
Now onto the filling. Whisk together the ricotta, eggs, sugar, flour, lemon zest, juice, and salt until blended.
Pour the filling into warm crust and bake for about 30 minutes until firm. Have some self-control and let the sheet cool for about 2 hours.
Cut ’em itno squares and sprinkle a little confectioners’ sugar for maximum enjoyment.