Ricotta Lemon Tartlets

This recipe is based on Giorgio Locatelli’s recipe for a ricotta tart from his inspiring cookbook „Made in Italy“. Cyrus and me loved watching „Italy Unpacked“, a BBC television production in which renowned chef Giorgio Locatelli and art critic Andrew Graham-Dixon explore Italy’s art and cuisine together, so getting a hold of (inter alia) Locatelli’s cookbook was kind of mandatory for us.


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 Ingredients (serves 4):

For the pastry:

  • 110 grams of butter
  • 70 grams of icing sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 225 grams of flour (German type 405)

For the filling:

  • 200 grams of fresh ricotta
  • 1 whole egg (medium)
  • 1 medium egg yolk
  • 30 grams of honey or maple syrup (the original recipe is with honey, but I replaced with maple syrup as I do not like honey)
  • 1/2 tablespoon of cinnamon
  • 10 grams of Marsala
  • 15 grams of sugar (finely granulated)
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons of chopped candied lemon peel (keep 4 pieces for decoration)


Preparing the candied lemon peel:

Candied lemon peel can be purchased in shops, but it’s easy to make it yourself (and the outcome is often more delicious). The procedure is the same as in this recipe: Candied Orange Peel. However, observe that you cut off the pith for this recipe. I recommend cutting off the peel of the lemons with the pith, then turn it around and with a very sharp knife remove the pith and use only the skin. Simmer it until it turns shiny and almost translucent. If available, use fresh lemons from Italy.

Preparing the pastry:

  1. Beat the butter with an electric mixer until very soft and creamy.
  2. Add the sugar and mix until very smooth.
  3. Beat in the egg, and – when well incorporated – the flour. Mix until very smooth.
  4. Wrap into cellophane and refrigerate for approximately 30 minutes.
  5. Pre-heat the oven to 170 degrees Celsius (fan oven).
  6. Butter 4 tartlets form (approximately 10 – 12 cm in diameter) and coat the bottom and sides with very finely granulated sugar (not necessary if you are serving the tartlets inside the forms).
  7. Press the dough onto the bottom of the forms and up the sides.
  8. Line with parchment paper and fill up with baking weights (alternatively dried peas, rice or beans).
  9. Blind-bake for approximately 10 minutes until lightly colored. Remove the baking weights and parchment paper and bake for another 5 minutes (approximately) if the pastry should still be too light.

Preparing the filling:

  1. Beat the ricotta, egg, egg yolk, maple syrup (alternatively honey), cinnamon, Marsala and sugar  with an electric mixer until well mixed.
  2. Gently fold in the chopped candied lemon skin.
  3. Spread the filling over the pastry and bake for 20 minutes until lightly colored.
  4. Allow to cool down. Serve decorated with a piece of lemon zest and a sprinkle of icing sugar.

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