Sans Meal Plan: Zesty lemon bars because I’m already sick of pumpkin spice

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:

Crust

  • 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) 

Filling

  • 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.

Mix the flour, confectioner’s sugar, cornstarch, lemon zest, salt, and softened butter until it looks dough-y. A food processor is ideal, but I just did it the old-fashioned way. lemonbars1

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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.

lemon squares 3

Clearly not the right size dish, but you get the idea

Now onto the filling. Whisk together the ricotta, eggs, sugar, flour, lemon zest, juice, and salt until blended.

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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.

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My roommate could not resist

Cut ’em itno squares and sprinkle a little confectioners’ sugar for maximum enjoyment.

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