Whipped Vanilla-Lemon Ricotta Tart with Fruit


(Updated 05/06/24)

A recipe for a dreamy homemade ricotta fruit tart. This nutritious dessert features a gluten-free crust, and a no-bake filling that compliments almost any fruit (though the featured stone fruit and berries are a match in tastebud heaven!). Perfect for celebrating and enjoying with loved ones.

When I’m after a showstopper of a dessert, this ricotta tart reigns supreme. It’s the kind of sweet treat that draws a collective ‘ooo’ when placed before guests. Not only is it delicious, but it’s a total looker—the marriage of fresh fruit, creamy whipped ricotta and buttery shortbread is simply divine.

As a Registered Nutritionist, I love celebrating nature’s bounty, especially fresh fruit. This nutritious fruit dessert features stone fruit like apricots, alongside berries and lemon, which bring a rainbow of nutrients to the table (along with beautiful flavour!). It’s my go-to recipe for the height of summer, when the fruit is at its seasonal best.

And here’s an added bonus for my free-from friends—it also happens to be gluten-free. The tart crust uses a mix of almond flour and plain gluten-free flour, making the dessert suitable for those with gluten intolerances or celiac disease.

Gather Ingredients

  • Almond flour. A finely ground flour made from almonds. You can pick it up at most grocery stores, or DIY at home by finely grinding blanched almonds.
  • Plain gluten-free flour. Use a 1:1 gluten free flour, which will look, act and taste like stock-standard flour. Not gf? Swap for plain flour.
  • Unsalted butter. Butter adds richness and flavour, while helping create a tender and crumbly crust.
  • Egg. To add moisture and richness to the crust. I use a large egg, size 7 (62g).
  • Runny honey. Just a bit, to sweeten the deal.
  • Soft whole-milk ricotta. An Italian thick, white cheese. While naturally grainy in texture, we’ll transform it creamy and smooth with help of a food processor.
  • Vanilla. I like going a little fancy and using a vanilla bean. It infuses a sweet, but potent, flavour, along with beautiful black specks throughout the ricotta.
  • Lemon zest. Aim for around 1 Tbsp, typical of a medium lemon. Unlike the juice, zest contains essential lemon oils to add flavour without acidity.
  • Berries and apricots. Go for fresh, but canned will work in a pinch. You can swap for other soft fruit e.g. sliced kiwifruit or even spoons of passionfruit.
  • Fresh mint leaves. For fresh flavour and a pop of green overtop.

Vanilla bean is lovely here, but it’s a premium (and spendy) ingredient. Feel free to substitute with vanilla extract – start with 1 tsp, adding extra for a more robust vanilla flavour. How much to add can vary according to the quality of the extract. Taste as you go!

Let’s Bake: Whipped Ricotta Tart

Mix the dry ingredients in a bowl. Add honey and melted butter, and mix until a crumbly consistency.
Add a whisked egg and knead into a dough ball. I like using my hands instead of a spoon here.
Grease a 23cm loose bottomed tart tin. Press dough into tin, covering the base and up the sides. Take your time to get it nice and even.
Using a fork, prick holes all over the bottom of the base. This allows stem to escape while the crust is in the oven, helping it bake more evenly.
lend the ricotta in a food processor until it goes from grainy to smooth. Add honey, vanilla bean seeds and lemon zest and blend again *swoon*.
Add the sliced apricots in a circular patter over the base and up the sides of the crust. The odd bits and ends work well in the middle.
Dollop whipped ricotta onto the tart and smooth to cover the base, dragging the back of the spoon gently overtop.
Slice any large berries. Decorate the top with the berries. If you have fresh mint handy, finely chop and garnish.

Kitchen Tips

Here are tips and tricks to help your kitchen skills grow, while improving the outcome of this dish:

  • Spoon flour into a measuring cup. A one-way ticket to dry crumbly baked goods is overestimating the flour. Instead of digging the measuring cup into the flour bag (which can unintentionally overload it), spoon into the cup and level off with a knife.
  • Grease the tin. Greasing is necessary here, even when using nonstick baking equipment. Simply apply a thin layer of butter to the sides and bottom of the tin (I use a paper towel to smear it on). It’ll help release your crust with ease.
  • Pinch and patch the dough. As you press the dough into the tart pan, you’ll notice it starts to build up where the side of the crust meets the base. Here, pinch off excess dough and patch another part that’s a bit thin. End goal: nice even coverage.

Serving & Storage

After you’ve assembled the dessert, chill it for a few hours. Refrigeration firms the ricotta—not to a point where it’s rock solid, but firm enough to cut and get a relatively clean slice. You can skip this if short on time; the filling will just be softer, and not as pretty when sliced (not that your stomach will care💁‍♀️).

This dessert is best prepped and served on the day you intend to eat it. However, it’ll keep in an airtight container in the fridge for a few days. With time, the ricotta may release a little water, and the berries and mint won’t look as fresh.

Nutrition Q&A

Is ricotta cheese healthy? Ricotta is indeed a nutritious food, when enjoyed in moderation as a part of a balanced diet.

It’s a good source of protein, crucial for the growth and repair of our body. A half-cup serve of whole milk ricotta offers around 9g protein, similar to what’s found in a large egg (1). This makes it a fabulous addition to meals, whether toast, pasta or baked goods, to boost the protein content.

Ricotta also provides a fantastic source of two important minerals key to bone health—calcium and phosphorous. These nutrients are needed for bone strength, and are naturally rich in dairy products—like ricotta!

Thanks for reading. Are you after another fruit-based dessert idea featuring summer fruit? Try these matcha white chocolate dipped strawberries🍓.

Whipped Vanilla-Lemon Ricotta Tart with Fruit

Serving Size: 12


Gluten-free pie crust

  • 1 ½ cup almond flour
  • 1 cup plain gluten-free flour
  • Pinch of salt
  • ¼ cup melted unsalted butter
  • 2 Tbsp runny honey
  • 1 egg

Whipped ricotta filling

  • 500 g soft ricotta cheese
  • ¼ cup runny honey
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • Zest of a medium lemon (approx. 1 Tbsp)

Fruit topping

  • 1 cup mixed fresh berries (e.g. blueberries, raspberries and strawberries)
  • 4-5 apricots
  • 2 large fresh mint leaves


Prepare the tart crust

  • Preheat the oven to bake 180 degrees celsius. Grease a non-stick 23cm loose base quiche or tart tin with butter.
  • In a mixing bowl, combine the almond flour, gluten-free flour and salt. Mix together. Add melted butter and the first measure of runny honey (2 Tbsp). Mix until crumbly.
  • Whisk the egg and add to the crumbly mixture. Mix until a dough forms.
  • Press dough into the quiche tin, taking time to get it nice and even. Prick holes with a fork into the base.
  • Bake for 10-11 minutes. Keep an eye on it over the last few minutes as the top can quickly burn. Once cooked, remove from the oven and let cool for ten minutes before very CAREFULLY removing from the tart tin (it's delicate!). I do this by pushing up the bottom so the side is released, then sliding a wide spatula between the tart case bottom and the crust to release it.

Prepare the ricotta filling

  • Scrap out seeds from vanilla bean. To do this, run a small knife down the middle of the pod (only slice through one side of the skin), and use your fingers to pull open the flesh. Then, using your knife again, scrape the seeds away from the inside of the pod – as you do this they should easily build up on the knife blade.
  • In a food processor, blend the ricotta for a few minutes. Add the remaining honey (¼ cup), seed of the vanilla bean and lemon zest until smooth.

Assemble the tart

  • Slice apricots in half, remove and discard the pit, then slice apricots into wedges.
  • Once the tart base has fully cooled, arrange the wedges in a single circular layer across the bottom, as well as up the sides of the tart.
  • Spoon the ricotta onto the middle of the tart and smooth to cover the apricots on the bottom of the base. Slice the strawberries (if using), and then arrange berries overtop. If you have mint handy, finely chop a few leaves as a garnish.
  • Place the tart in the fridge for a few hours for the ricotta to firm.

Leave a Comment & Rate this Recipe

If you enjoyed this dish, please consider giving it a star rating when you post a comment. Star ratings help others discover my recipes online (and your reviews make my day! 🙂 ). Happy cooking and baking. Danijela x

5 from 1 vote

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