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Ricotta Cake With Meyer Lemon Curd

Ricotta Cake With Meyer Lemon Curd

I realize it could sound cliche or a little simple but this cake should really be called "Friendship Cake". It would not have been made, eaten and shared without the giving spirit of great friend:

Over the summer, Mary wrote several posts and shared recipes with Meyer lemons, each more tempting than the next. What started on my part as an innocent "I wish I could find Meyer lemons here" became a tortured "Mary, please send me some, I’ll pay for shipping!". Believe me, I searched everywhere in town for the coveted lemon and nothing…people would even give me the odd "why is it so important?". Well, if you have been reading this blog for a while you know by now how much I love anything and everything lemon, sour, tart, tangy and if bloggers on the west coast keep waxing poetic about the fragrant Meyer lemon, then I need to know what one tastes like.

Well, the postman rang the doorbell the other day handing B. a pretty heavy box and he exclaimed "It’s for you! From California"….Oh gosh, did I make a Recchiuti purchase in my sleep? Did I sleep walk to the computer and ordered Banana Cream Pie from Tartine?…No peeps…even better: Mary had sent me a box full of Meyer lemons! My eyes grew bigger, my tastebuds all awaken by the fragrance coming out from under the newpaper padding. I am aware that we all make food discoveries throughout our life but when you are of age to really enjoy what is under your nose, the experience is quite intoxicating. I have never had a lemon that tasted like a sour clementine with a faint smell of cardamom before. I am sure others will find that funny, but yes, I smell that spice everytime I bring one of those lemons to my nose…and it makes me happy!
I received Mary’s gift on friday and I have already put them to good use, not only with this cake, but in a batch of plum jam where I used the rinds to flavor the preserve, in sauces, ice creams and other cakes…just to give you a preview of things to come.

I was craving my beloved yogurt cake sunday afternoon but I wanted to try another recipe, something of the same substance but that would allow me to use the Meyer lemons as well as other ingredients. I was thinking ricotta instead of yogurt, and before following my usual recipe I decided to browse the web. Boy am I glad I did! I think I spent over an hour on both Sigrid’s blogs, looking at her magnificient photography and pretending to speak Italian fluently (!) and stumbled upon a recipe for a lemon ricotta cake from the sardinia region of Italy. Bingo! Fate!Kismet! or whatever else you find appropriate. I did not change much but reduce the sugar a bit. I also baked the cake in a rectangular pan and cut it in 5 long pieces, cut these in 3 separate layers and layered them with a light lemon curd filling(no butter in the cake or the curd). Perfect for an afternoon tea. I have to say that this is one of the desserts that never made it to the neighbors: I cut and froze slices so I could savour my precious loot for special times. You know, when you feel like bringing a friend closer to you although they are miles away, like tonight.

Mary, thank you. I truly hope that one day our paths do cross, in the kitchen and around a homemade meal. Yes folks, I have a wonderful friend, and I have never met her.

Ricotta Cake With Meyer Lemon Curd
Ricotta and Lemon Cake, adapted from here:

300 gr flour
200 gr sugar
300 gr. ricotta
3 eggs, separated
1 lemon , zest and juice
2 tsp. baking powder

Preheat oven to 350F.
In a large bowl, combine the ricotta and sugar. Add the egg yolks, the lemon juice and zest, then the flour and baking powder. In the bowl of an electric mixer, whip the egg whites until stiff and getly incorporate them to the egg/flour batter.
Butter and flour a 13×9 inch baking pan and pour in the batter. Bake for 40 minutes or when a toothpick inserted in the middle come out clean. Let cool completely.
Divide the cake in three lenghtwise and 5 crosswise. (you may have leftover slices…just eat them plain or with a touch of jam). In a large loaf cake pan line with plastic wrap, layer slices of cake and Meyer lemon curd. Refrigerate. Slice and eat when you are ready!

Meyer Lemon Curd Filling:

grated zest of 2 Meyer lemons
1cup strained lemon juice
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 packet gelatin, dissolved in 1/3 cup of water

Combine the zest, sugar, juice in a saucepan, and bring to a simmer.
In a small bowl, beat the eggs until light.Beat some of the lemon mixture into the eggs to temper. Scrape the mixture back into the saucepan and cook stirring constantly until it thickens up, about 5 minutes. Meanwhile, heat the gelatin in the microwave until dissolved, about 30 seconds. Remove the curd from the heat, stir in the gelatin and whisk until well incorporated. Let cool to room temp and use to fill the cake.
Strain and refrigerate, covered with plastic wrap until ready to use.

Update: I realize I forgot to tell you what I used on top of the cake. I took about /2 cup to 3/4 of mascarpone and mixed in some honey and iced the top with this. I have done similar cakes with sour cream or cream cheese instead, worked as well.

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Anh September 14, 2007 um 6:54 am

Your ricotta cake looks perfect, Helen! And the meyer lemon curd is extra special.

Rosa's Yummy Yums September 14, 2007 um 8:40 am

Fantastic! Such a cake made with lemon curd and ricotta can only be delicious!

DDgirl September 14, 2007 um 9:58 am

My mouth is watering!!!!

Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) September 14, 2007 um 10:21 am

This is the best thing about blogging — meeting people you might never meet in person, who become good friends. My kitchen holds several treats I’ve received or exchanged with bloggers around the world.

Truffle September 14, 2007 um 10:46 am

This look absolutely incredible. I love all things lemon so this is right up my alley. I’d absolutely love a piece or two!

Aimée September 14, 2007 um 10:52 am

I’ve tried to explain to people just how exciting Meyer lemons are, but it’s hard to convey their pungent taste. I am so glad you are enjoying some around your kitchen. What a delightful cake with those pretty layers! Looking forward to more recipes…I’ll put them on the back burner in case, come one lucky day, I have some precious Meyers to work with.

Anonymous September 14, 2007 um 11:46 am

I love lemon curd but it is really sublimated in your cake!!

Unknown September 14, 2007 um 12:16 pm

I’m confused how you put the cake together. You cut it 5×3 as if you were looking down at the top of the 9×13 pan? Or was there a crosswise cut too? And it looks like you have six layers?

It is lovely, that’s why I’m asking so many questions. And now I want meyer lemons toooooo!

Helene September 14, 2007 um 12:26 pm

Jenny: I cut the cake to have 3 layers of cake if you wat, then with the long side facing me I cut 5 pieces. I used 6 total and ate the remaining! I wanted thin slices that’s why I divide the cake into 3 thin layers, otherwise it would have looked chunky.

Anonymous September 14, 2007 um 12:31 pm

Oh this looks just awesome! I’m a new convert to meyer lemon curd , there’s quite nothing like it!

April September 14, 2007 um 1:04 pm

I cannot get meyer lemons here either, so, I will just imagine eating a peice of your cake from your description! It looks delicious!!

Mallow September 14, 2007 um 1:06 pm

That is such a fabulous story! And the cake sounds wonderful too (especially considering its origins!)

breadchick September 14, 2007 um 1:57 pm

WOW! That looks so wonderful tasting and even better because it was made with the lemons Mary sent you!

I love that through blogging (and the Daring Bakers!) I’ve "met" so many wonderful people who I know consider good friends, like Mary and you!!

Deborah September 14, 2007 um 2:13 pm

I love lemon (and lime) as well, so this cake has my mouth watering!!

Anonymous September 14, 2007 um 2:28 pm

This is going straight to the top of my list of recipes to make once meyer lemons come back into season and show up in my food co-op again!

Anonymous September 14, 2007 um 3:22 pm

Wonderful cake, wonderful post, wonderful friend! I’m so happy for you that you get to enjoy Meyer lemons.

Anita September 14, 2007 um 4:16 pm

I love all the layers of lemon curd, so glad you got to try Meyer lemons! They are something special, aren’t they?

Madame K September 14, 2007 um 7:32 pm

Okay, now you got me.
I need to taste a piece of that cake!
It looks moist,tangy,creamy and utterly cake-a-licious.

ambrosia ananas September 14, 2007 um 8:45 pm

That is beautiful. (I just found your blog yesterday through the Blogs of Note list–everything you bake is gorgeous. It makes me want to leave my job and spend my life learning to really bake.)

Peabody September 14, 2007 um 9:47 pm

Lucky you(though I am fortunate enough to be able to get meyers). Your cake looks so very moist, and excellent way to use your lemons.

Parisbreakfasts September 14, 2007 um 10:13 pm

Anything lemony makes me swoon…
Meyer lemons are legendary yet I have not tasted ONE!
I’ll pay for shipping for ONE Meyer lemon???
Just one…are they really that different?
That cake looks outrageous

Anita (Married… with dinner) September 14, 2007 um 10:17 pm


We have a Meyer lemon tree. No ripe fruit yet this year, but as soon as they turn yellow, I know what I’m making!

What’s the icing on the top?

Elle September 14, 2007 um 10:22 pm

Tea and such a fabulous cake would be perfect. Meyer lemons really are special and the curd made with them is super special. I like the idea of the ricotta cake, too. Yum! Friendships made & this exchange thing is one of the cool things about blogging. I’m thinking 'south’now. Will think of something I’m sure. 🙂

Anonymous September 15, 2007 um 12:08 am

i have seen mary’s posts about her amazing meyer lemon tree. she’s one lucky girl (and a generous one, too)! even when you do find the lemons on the east coast, you pay a fortune, and they are often pretty beaten up by travel (at least the ones i could get in NYC were. and i can’t believe how good this cake looks–i wouldn’t want to share either!

Jan September 15, 2007 um 12:25 am

The picture looks and the recipe sounds de-lucious. Thank you for the story that goes with it, too.

Mercedes September 15, 2007 um 12:26 am

You’re right, you do have a marvelous friend, and that cake looks wonderful. I’m a sucker for anything ricotta-based, both sweet and savory, so this sounds especially delicious!

ilingc September 15, 2007 um 8:39 am

wow.. what perfect layers! sigh.. i too am now suffering from meyer lemon envy..

whilewhiting September 15, 2007 um 12:24 pm

how can i do the icing on top of he cake?? the cake wont be perfect with the icing tho. love your blog!!!:)

High Power Rocketry September 15, 2007 um 1:29 pm

: )

MyKitchenInHalfCups September 15, 2007 um 2:10 pm

Friendship cake of yes! That is really beautiful. Almost looks like angel food cake.
The meyer lemon would put it into the divine category!

Yvette September 15, 2007 um 2:12 pm

Your cake looks absolutely divine!! Thank you for sharing such wonderful recipes!

fanny September 15, 2007 um 5:20 pm

this cake looks absolutely gorgeous. I might give it a try when I’ll have spare time on my hands.

Anonymous September 15, 2007 um 10:47 pm

now i wish i plant a meyer lemon tree this summer! 😀

Chez Us September 16, 2007 um 3:33 am

always looking for something new to do with Meyers! Helen, what did you frost the top with? What type of pan did you use for the layering? Thanks! Chez Denise

Lis September 16, 2007 um 4:06 am

Wow that looks amazing!! And now I want to make a ricotta cake! =)


Mercotte September 16, 2007 um 5:25 am

C’est absolument superbe et tentant ça me rappelle un peu la photo du miroir aux fraises , je ne sais pourquoi mais bon….y a des jours comme ça !!

Fly Away, Butterfly September 16, 2007 um 9:53 am

Wow, that looks fantastic! I wish you could email me a slice!

Anonymous September 16, 2007 um 1:50 pm

Where is the chocolate?

Anonymous September 16, 2007 um 1:59 pm

Helene, That’s a wonderful story about how generous and kind food blogging friends can be. I love what you did with the meyer lemons. Ricotta cake? That’s one near and dear to my foodie heart. Great job 🙂

Anonymous September 16, 2007 um 3:34 pm

This looks utterly divine, and I’m in awe of your cake-slicing skills, those layers are so even! It was lovely of Mary to send you those lemons, food does help make friendships stronger 😉

Cynthia September 16, 2007 um 3:54 pm

And there are times, Helen that cliches say it best.

Kelly-Jane September 16, 2007 um 3:57 pm

How wonderful, mmm mmmm.

Anonymous September 16, 2007 um 4:28 pm

Why don’t you make this cake and we’ll fly away to Sardegna together??? (Are you seduced yet???)


Anonymous September 16, 2007 um 8:31 pm

j’adore le look de ton gateau, et le gout… ca doit etre exquis, de toutes facons, je fond sur tout ce qui est au citron !

Nora B. September 16, 2007 um 8:44 pm

Such a wonderful gift to receive. I think friendships can be fostered even from a distance and this is one evidence for it (and I don’t mean just because she gave you a gift!).

Your creation sounds wonderful and looks pretty. I like how you can freeze the slices.

Brent September 16, 2007 um 9:26 pm

This looks amazing!!

Stella September 17, 2007 um 2:50 pm

Beautiful & astounding I’d say!!! Wowwwwwwwwwwwwww!!!

evinrude September 17, 2007 um 4:09 pm

This looks gorgeous, Helen! Love lemon! And no butter! Will that ever go wrong?!

Graeme September 18, 2007 um 4:18 pm

This comment has been removed by the author.

Graeme September 18, 2007 um 4:20 pm

That is beautiful. It’s like someone asked you to make Sunshine in cake form.

Amy September 19, 2007 um 3:53 am

Oh that cake looks delicious! I still need to try meyer lemons! 🙂 They sound irresistable.

Anonymous September 19, 2007 um 5:59 pm

Helene, this is absolutely beautiful. I love the combination of flavors, all the layers, and your presentation. Amazing.

The Foodie Princess September 20, 2007 um 7:39 pm

I have to try and make this over the weekend it looks absolutely delicious!

Brittany September 21, 2007 um 7:15 am

Oh my- this is just lovely. I want to eat it while wearing lacy white gloves ad drinking tea from a silver pot. Meyer lemons are about the nicest gift you can give to someone who can’t get their hands on them. What a sweetie. I’m new to this food blogging thing, but it’s stories like that (and recipes like that too!) that make me so glad I decided to get into it.

Scarlett_Ribbons September 21, 2007 um 12:20 pm

Even before I made my way to the blog the picture alone made my brain wobble at the thought of sweetness!!! It looks really scrumptious. Being in the UK I really have no idea as to what Meyer Lemons are but no doubt in time someone will correct me. Thank you for sharing.

john September 25, 2007 um 11:03 pm

This comment has been removed by the author.

kathy October 10, 2007 um 2:15 am

Lovely! What is the texture of the cake like?

Anonymous October 13, 2007 um 1:12 am

The cake looked so beautiful and our Meyer Lemon tree is getting ripe so I gave your recipe a try. The egg flour mix turned out to be super thick and clumpy almost like bread dough so i added cream…before adding the whites. Did I do something wrong? I probably should have creamed the riccota and the sugar well before adding eggs?

terryincalifornia November 4, 2007 um 4:35 am

I have friends who have a Meyer lemon tree and I have been picking and freezing and zesting like crazy. Looking for recipes; and "Meyer" food that I can preserve and freeze. Lemoncello is one. This cake looks good. Someone please covert the measurements for me. one cup etc.
I am freezing the lemon juice in ice cube trays and freezing the zest and scooping out the lemon shells to freeze for later to use to serve other lemon dishes? Not sure how this will work. Having fun. Plan to order a Meyers lemon tree for indoors.

tanya2s July 10, 2008 um 11:51 am

Unfortunately I had serious problems with this recipe! Like the other poster, my egg/ricotta/flour mixture was WAY too much like bread dough to fold in the egg whites, so I had to add milk (at least a cup!) to get it even close to batter consistency. The final cake baked up really gummy in texture, and I actually had to throw it out. It just wasn’t edible. Someone tell me what’s wrong! Should my ricotta have more liquid in it? It was pretty solid, but ricotta has always been that way in my house…

Helene July 10, 2008 um 12:45 pm

Tanya: here is what I see could be the problem and one way to remedy it, although I doubt you will be attempting this cake again but it’s good to know for similar future situation: adding one cup of milk is what made the cake gummy. Everytime you find yourself in a situation when the yolk mixture seems really dry, and it has happened to me in other recipes, whisk in a bit of the whipped egg whites to lighten up the batter. It might seem like you have bits of flour in there but whisk the crap out of it to make it smooth and then contine folding in the whites.
It’s been a while since I made it and got it on another website so I can’t remember if this is what I ended up doing or not.
Hope this info helps.

mary naquin March 30, 2013 um 2:18 am

Please convert the grams to ounces/cups. Thank you! Mary Naquin

Helene March 30, 2013 um 4:22 am

mary: please visit for easy converting calculators.

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