Donna Hay: Ricotta Lemon Slice with Summer Berries

Ricotta Lemon Slice with Berries (0038)

It’s been a while! I’ve been missing around here for the past several weeks – I know but my thoughts have been here. Summer has taken control of me and all my time. While we are enjoying the long warm days and evenings, I’ve been engulfed with several projects and photo jobs that have dominated most of my time. It’s been a very interesting time around here.

After my return from Helsinki I was thrown into a project that I have been looking forward to for months. It’s more than a photography project as it includes so many different levels and calls on me to take on a variety of roles. Working together with a new client, I have the grand opportunity to travel the state of Thuringia, in which I live in, for the next several months discovering artisan producers, regional farmers, talented young restaurateurs and accomplished chefs as I journey through this stunning state of mine. While photographing their products, traditional dishes and creations is a major part of the job, I also get to write articles about my travels and my experience. The project goes a step beyond as an exciting and challenging part for me will be to take the products or those traditional dishes and developing a totally new recipe with a different twist to it. All of which is documented, styled and photographed … and filmed.

Summer Berries (0022)It is all part of a large campaign started by the tourism department of Thuringia to redefine and reposition the typical Thüringian products and classic dishes into the international and national markets. I am beyond stoked to be entrusted with this job and have been commissioned to lead the project on all of these levels. Kulnarik, as the campaign is called, will be pushed on all media platforms from social media, to print and publications, events and exhibitions, and TV.

The TV part makes me nervous as it will be the one camera I will be standing in front of instead behind. And as you read this today the TV crew are here at home … filming me as I interpret the bratwurst in a different fashion. We’ve almost wrapped up the fist report, which as you might guess was the mighty “Thüringer bratwurst”. If you are following my feed on Instagram you might have had the opportunity to get a small glimpse of my first journey to the beautiful Eichsfeld region where we went in search for a different kind of bratwurst. Now it’s my turn to create something very different with the famous sausage. As it is a winter campaign I have to transport myself in the cooler months to create something more hearty using winter produce. I am also in deep winter shoots for the other magazines I am currently shooting for.  Ricotta Lemon Slice with Berries (0040)

An odd feeling especially as we had temperatures soaring up to 30C over the weekend while we were at our Berlin workshop. Markets and fields are bursting with ripe berries and stone fruit. Gooseberries, strawberries, cherries, apricots, blueberries are all shouting summer is here! To keep the balance of my winter produce photo shoots I am enjoying these bounties of summer everyday – my morning yogurt is generously mixes with a mix of berries, nuts and honey, tarts are loaded with gooseberries and apricot mousse makes the perfect quick dessert.

Berrries for Ricotta Lemon Slice with Berries (0034) Ricotta Lemon Slice with Berries (0046)

My all time favorite dessert this summer has got to be this delicate ricotta slice from the amazing cookbook by Donna Hay “Fresh & Light.” It incorporates many of the refreshing and light flavors of summer with tangy lemon paired against the sweetness of the vanilla. A variety of mixed berries give the dessert a fruity flavor offsetting the creamy ricotta. In my adaptation I've added wheat semolina instead of rice flour from Donna Hay's recipe and I used seeds from a vanilla bean instead of the extract to five the cake a gorgeous speckled and intense flavor. I also added the zest of lemon to the ricotta. This lemon ricotta slice is easy to make and reminds me of everything summer means to me. Hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

Recipe: Ricotta Lemon Slice with Summer Berries
Adapted from Donna Hay's recipe Berry and Ricotta Slice

Printable version of recipe here

Ricotta Lemon Slice with Berries (0040)

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Serves: 12


  • 400g ricotta
  • 125g cream cheese
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 lemon, juice and zest
  • 1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped
  • 1 tablespoon wheat semolina
  • 110g superfine sugar
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Mixed fresh berries


  1. Preheat the oven to 160 degrees C. Line a 20cm x 20cm tin with baking paper.
  2. In a food processor, place the ricotta, cream cheese, eggs, lemon juice, vanilla seeds, wheat semolina and sugar and process until smooth. Fold in the lemon zest.
  3. Spread the mixture in the tin, smoothing the top, then bake for 20 minutes or until firm.
  4. Remove from the oven allow to cool slightly then place in the fridge to cool. Top with berries and serve.

You can serve the ricotta slices with a drizzle of maple syrup or even lightly flavored raw honey. Simply divine!


Ricotta Lemon Slice with Berries (0041)

What's not to like about this dessert? It has it all and requires practically no time to prepare. It comes out of the fridge nicely chilled ready to be topped with the berries. I've been making this in several variations topped with cherries and apricots, gooseberries and peaches, sometimes adding basil sometimes thyme to highlight other flavors.

If you have not already, do get your hands on Fresh and Light by Donna Hay. The recipes are innovative leaving a lot of room for adaption and interpretation with some amazing recipes fit for a hot summer.

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You might like these summer treats from from What's For Lunch, Honey?:

ApricotFranfipaneTar_0057WM_thumb BerryPeachCobbler_0007-WM_thumb 7584850886_d15fddc480_b
Apricot and Pistachio Frangipane Tart Cobbler - Berry Peach with a Lemon and Vanilla Crust Eton Mess with Saffron Raspberries and White Currants

All photographs and written content on What's For Lunch, Honey? © 2006-2013 Meeta Khurana Wolff unless otherwise indicated. | All rights reserved | Please Ask First

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  1. This is a beautiful dessert Meeta. The second photograph is so stunning that I could frame it :)

    1. Thank you so much! THis was a fun and easy summer dessert ... always come back to it!

  2. Exquisitely summery, fresh and berrylicious!



  3. That looks delicious! I love lemon desserts, this one sounds perfect. :)

    1. It is all the perfect light flavors for a summery dessert!

  4. That's looks so incredibly good! I am so excited for your cool new project too.. Can't wait to see the end result and I'm pretty sure it's gonna be awesome.
    You know I love Donna so can't wait to cook something from the book too!

    1. It's a fun project and I am really having a blast. Donna Hay is so inspiring!

  5. Berryliscious and summary. A divine dessert that scores extra point for being easy to prepare.
    Congrats on your cool project. Sounds terrific. I'm sure you'll do just fine on TV :)

  6. What an amazing project, Meeta. I'm really happy and excited for you! I know you will do great. xoxo

  7. Oh, this looks fantastic! Wish you all the very best for your project Meeta. Keep us posted.

  8. Although I enjoy the summer times I have to admit, that I have now also a reason to look forward to the winter times in front of the TV due to your project :))
    And about the Donna Hay book you are so right, there are so many innovative but easy to prepare recipes in it!

    1. You are the sweetest. Thanks for your motivation and so glad you like the Donna Hay book!

  9. Brilliant recipe for this summer. It's looking beautiful. I love berries and using berries in it is just genius! Next time , going to make it and cut out the unnecessary calories and make something healthy without compromising on the taste! Love this!!

  10. Thanks Meeta! The ricotta Lemon Slice looks so good, can't wait to try it this weekend.

  11. Lovely meeta! These berries look sooo pretty! Awesome clicks! Cant wait to try it out!:-)


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