Torta di Limone (Lemon Tart)

Tangy and surprisingly easy to make, Gennaro Contaldo's wonderful lemon and ricotta tart brings a taste of Italy to dessert time
By Gennaro Contaldo
Torta di Limone (Lemon Tart)
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 10
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Prep Time: 45 minutes
  • Effort: medium


For the filling

  • 4 eggs, separated
  • 250 g caster sugar
  • 3 lemons, juice only
  • 25 g butter, melted
  • 250 g full fat ricotta cheese, sieved
  • 25 g plain flour, sieved

  • 250 g puff pastry

For the lemon strips

  • 2 lemons
  • 100 ml water
  • 1 tbsp caster sugar


1. Lightly butter a 25cm loose-bottomed tart tin and dust it with flour. Roll out the puff pastry and line the tin, making sure it comes slightly above the edges of the tin. Place in the fridge until you are ready to use.

2. Carefully remove the zest from the lemons.

3. To remove the bitterness from the zest, place the water and sugar in a small pan over a moderate heat and stir until the sugar has dissolved. Stir in the strips of zest, raise the heat and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for a couple of minutes.

4. Drain, discard the liquid and dry the lemon strips on a tea towel; leave to cool.

5. Preheat the oven to 180C/gas 4.

6. To make the filling, beat the egg yolks and sugar together until light and fluffy and doubled in volume.

7. Add the lemon juice and butter and mix well. Stir in the ricotta and flour and whisk well to remove any lumps.

8. In another bowl, whisk the egg whites to stiff peaks. Fold into the lemon mixture.

9. Carefully pour the mixture into the pastry case, arrange the lemon strips evenly on top and bake for 40 minutes, until just set.

10. Leave to cool, before gently removing the tart from the tin and transferring to a plate to serve.

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