April Recipe: Lemon Ricotta Cake

eggsbutterLamb and lemon recipes are for some reason both associated with the Easter period.  I feel that I have supplied you with a lot of savoury recipes in the past and so am giving you a dessert / cake recipe which includes lemons.  Please buy the unwaxed ones if possible, or if you do get the waxed ones make sure you scrub the skins well as they have been sprayed.

Two tips, one = you get more juice from fruit if you roll it gently first with the palm of your hand, it breaks down the internal fibres and does work I promise!  The Chef at Croydon Catering College taught me that one, or zap it briefly in the  microwave he said.  A microplane grater is wonderful for getting the zest off any citrus fruit without the pith, but they are quite expensive so you might want to put it on your present list!  The cookery shop in Ledbury does sell them. Also,  tip two, egg whites freeze amazingly well and make very good meringues.  I always seem to have them in my freezer, so never throw them away, just make sure you label them with the number of egg whites you are freezing.

Ricotta cheese has far less calories than any other cream cheese so this dessert / cake is not too naughty.

Have a wonderful Easter.  I have a vegetarian friend coming to stay so no lamb in our house!


  • 125g. / 5ozs. digestive biscuits
  • 50g. / 2ozs. brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 50g. / 2ozs. melted butter
  • 2 egg whites and 2 whole large eggs
  • 500g. / 1lb. 2ozs. ricotta cheese
  • 75g. / 3ozs. icing sugar
  • 150g. / 6ozs. low fat fromage frais
  • grated zest and juice of ½ a lemon
  • 2 tbsps. plain flour
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 150g. / 6ozs. natural yoghurt
  • fruit to serve
  1. Preheat the oven to 190C / gas mark 5.
  2. Mix the crushed biscuits with the sugar, cinnamon and melted butter. Press into the bottom of a greased 23cm. spring-form tin and bake for 5 – 10 minutes until lightly browned. Cool.
  3. Put the ricotta and whole eggs in a bowl and blend until smooth. Add the icing sugar, yoghurt, lemon zest and juice, flour and vanilla extract. This can all be done in a food processor.
  4. In a separate bowl beat the 2 egg whites until they form peaks and then fold into the cheese mixture. Spread over the biscuit base and bake for 50 – 55 minutes.
  5. Run a knife around the edge of the cake to loosen. Cool. Remove the tin’s sides, cover and chill for 2 hours.
  6. Serve cut into slices with extra fromage frais and fresh fruit, dusted with icing sugar.
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