Country Cleaver

Cookin' My Way Back to the Country

Lemon Ricotta Tarts

Lemon Ricotta Tarts -

Dare we say spring is finally here?! Oh my gosh, say it isn’t so! Fate tempters, right here!! I swear it’s spring in the PNW, because we’ve actually managed to see a couple of days of blue skies in amongst the gray and the frogs have reemerged. Quite loudly I might add… Ben and I live couple hundred yards off a small highway that puts off a lot of noise (definitely not the country life we long for…), but in between us and the highway there is a small detention pond that is now the habitat for a ridiculous amount of frogs. Nope, haven’t actually seen them (I probably would have run into the hills never to be seen again) – but oh dang, can I hear them. We can hear them in the apartment, over the traffic. They’re like our own personal little white noise machines.

Lemon Ricotta Tarts -

Even Huck has become curious about them. On walks around our neighborhood, if the frogs are out chirping and ribbitting away and the 90 pound Labradork with his big old schnoz gets on their grass, near their pond, they promptly Stop. Right there, mid-ribbitt. As we keep walking you can hear them start again, one at a time, like a test ribbitt – ” Hey Frank, is the coast clear?”, “Yeah, man I think he’s gone”. “Dude, Bill that dog just peed all over your lilly pad. Bummer.”

I pretty much imagine they sound like equal parts Fat Tony and Aston Kutcher as Kelso. How it works, I don’t know – but in my head it’s totally the way they sound.

Lemon Ricotta Tarts -

So with spring here, and the frogs out and about – it’s time to bring some freshness into the mix. I have been craving these for months and always get distracted by a bumble bee or something because inevitably something else always got made. I was one track minded this winter with breads and cookies, that I didn’t give tarts the time they deserved. I’m a terrible person. But now I’m making up for lost time.

Lemon Ricotta Tarts -

I love the mini tart concept because one, miniature food is adorable. You can’t deny it. And two, they’re much easier to serve and hold. But if I were to make it again, I might just go for a full size tart. The crust held up really well with the ricotta filling and you can fit WAYYYYY more filling into a full size tart. As adorable as mini things are – things filled with copious amounts of filing are even better. Just speaking the truth here. Just be sure to top it with some homemade whipped cream when you’re done. That’s an order.

 Lemon Ricotta Tarts - Lemon Ricotta Tarts -


Lemon Ricotta Tarts

Yield: 1 Standard Tart or 6 mini tarts

Prep Time: 15 Minutes + Chilling Time

Cook Time: 20 Minutes

Total Time: 1 Hour

PrintPrint Recipe


Pie Crust:
1 ½ cup Flour
¾ cup Butter, cubed and frozen
⅓ tsp Salt
4 Tbsp Water, cold

Lemon Ricotta Filling:
1 cup Ricotta
¼ cup Cream Cheese, softened
2 Eggs
1 tsp Vanilla
¼ cup Sugar
1 Tbsp Lemon Juice
1 ½ tsp Lemon Zest


In a food processor, pulse flour and salt together to combine. Add in butter and pulse until small pea sized balls form. Turn food processor on and add in 3-4 tablespoons of cold water and allow the processor to run until a ball of dough forms. Remove from processor. Flatten dough ball and place in a plastic bag and place dough in fridge to chill for about 30 minutes. Remove dough from fridge and roll into a 12 inch diameter disk. Place in tart pan and allow to chill in fridge or freeze for 15 minutes. While in fridge begin to prepare ricotta filling.

Preheat oven to 350. Place aluminum foil on top of the pie crust and add pie weights into the top of the foil. Bake the crust for 15 minutes. Remove foil and pie weights and continue to bake for 10-15 minutes or until just golden brown.

Ricotta Filling:
In a large bowl with a wire whisk - beat together ricotta and cream cheese until smooth. Add in eggs, vanilla, lemon juice, zest and sugar. Pour into partially baked pie crust. Bake tart for 25-30 minutes or until the middle just remains slightly jiggly. Remove from oven and allow to cool on a wire rack.

If making mini-tarts - prepare mini tins similarly to the standard size tart pan, fit dough to mini tarts pans, chill, and bake the same time as the standard size pan. Fill with ricotta and lemon and bake for 15 minutes or until the middle is just barely jiggling.



25 Responses to “Lemon Ricotta Tarts”

  1. #
    Liz @ The Lemon Bowl — April 10, 2013 @ 6:31 am

    I have GOT to make these for my mom! Perhaps for Mother’s Day. She loves lemon flavored desserts!

  2. #
    Tieghan — April 10, 2013 @ 6:32 am

    Spring is So not here for me, but I am so making these to cheer me up! YUM!

  3. #
    Laurie {SimplyScratch} — April 10, 2013 @ 6:34 am

    Ohhhh heck yes! I’m a total sucker for all things lemon… I want these STAT!

  4. #
    Rachel @ Baked by Rachel — April 10, 2013 @ 6:38 am

    LOL the frogs… we have wetlands on our property so we get frogs and hear them and eventually see them in the pool when the wetlands dry up come August. Oy… frogs in the pool is never fun because man they can dive deep and are a pain to get out. Buggers… Otherwise… yay for lemon and spring! 🙂

  5. #
    Ali | Gimme Some Oven — April 10, 2013 @ 6:40 am

    Yay spring!!! These look so fresh and delicious!

  6. #
    claire @ the realistic nutritionist — April 10, 2013 @ 6:50 am

    I’m jealous you have spring, we’re in full blown summer over here in dc.

  7. #
    Heather @ Heather's Dish — April 10, 2013 @ 7:08 am

    I think I just peed a little out of excitement…

  8. #
    Audra | The Baker Chick — April 10, 2013 @ 7:10 am

    These tarts are darling- and so perfect for spring!

  9. #
    Meagan @ A Zesty Bite — April 10, 2013 @ 7:28 am

    These tarts are perfect with this great weather we are having in Texas.

  10. #
    Marie @ Little Kitchie — April 10, 2013 @ 7:37 am

    Lemon desserts just scream spring to me. These are lovely!

  11. #
    kita — April 10, 2013 @ 7:54 am

    I would have never thought to try this recipe on my own – ricotta and lemon – but damn they look good! (Welcome spring!!! … finally!)

  12. #
    Stephanie @ Girl Versus Dough — April 10, 2013 @ 8:03 am

    Spring has decided not to grace us with its presence here yet, but maybe if I make these beautiful tarts it will come around soon! So yummy and fresh… I want to eat ALL OF THEM.

  13. #
    DessertForTwo — April 10, 2013 @ 8:42 am

    Yeah, I picked right. Lemon ricotta tarts FTW. For everyday. Even if it’s not spring. All the time. Ok, I’m done.

  14. #
    Kathryn — April 10, 2013 @ 8:54 am

    Love the idea of that lemon & ricotta filling. Want these so badly!

  15. #
    Nicole @ Young, Broke and Hungry — April 10, 2013 @ 9:51 am

    Its funny, I actually imagined those exact voices when you where talking about the frogs. These tarts look magical, so bright and fresh! A little bit of artificial sunshine is needed on a day like today.

  16. #
    Erin | The Law Student's Wife — April 10, 2013 @ 10:48 am

    I won’t even try to deny: mini desserts are so stinkin’ cute. Plus, this means I can eat two, right?
    Happy Spring to you Megan!

  17. #
    Lauren @ Climbing Grier Mountain — April 10, 2013 @ 11:01 am

    I love, love, love lemon desserts! And the fact that they are small tarts is totally an excuse to eat 15, at least!

  18. #
    Jackie @ The Beeroness — April 10, 2013 @ 3:39 pm

    I’ll take a dozen to go

  19. #
    Abby — April 10, 2013 @ 5:31 pm

    Love these tarts! They’re so spring-y and cute… I can’t wait to bake a batch!

  20. #
    Carla @ Carlas Confections — April 10, 2013 @ 5:35 pm

    Ahh I cant wait for real spring weather here in Vanc! But I will take ALL of these tarts please and thank you 😉

  21. #
    Susan P — April 11, 2013 @ 7:11 am

    These look delish. After reading the recipe, I imagine the time to bake is for the larger tart. How long did you bake the smaller tarts pictured?

    • Megan replied: — April 11th, 2013 @ 9:26 am

      Hi Susan,
      Sorry I forgot to add in the mini-tart baking time. It’s about 12-15 minutes for baking – or until the middles are just barely jiggly.

  22. #

    I love the combination of lemon and ricotta together – this is so perfectly springy and reminiscent of sunshine 🙂

  23. #
    Nutmeg Nanny — April 12, 2013 @ 6:43 pm

    Lemon and ricotta, oh my sounds divine! These look so wonderful 🙂

  24. #
    laurasmess — April 19, 2013 @ 5:33 pm

    These sound so deliciously creamy. I love any kind of cheesecakey lemon desserts, especially baked ricotta cheesecakes. These look exactly like my kind of thing! Thanks for your gorgeous recipe. Yum yum yum! Happy to have found your blog – following! x

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