Hello all

I must be mad giving you all a recipe for my Lemon Ricotta Slice. Why? … why indeed? And herein lies the story:

It was all going so well last Friday afternoon as I prepared the Lemon Ricotta Slice for my sister’s Golden Wedding Afternoon Tea celebration the next day. I wanted so much to make something special for her important day.

Besides, I promised her a ‘cheese cake type‘ slice and I was looking forward to impressing her (and everyone else) with this most delicious slice. Please note: I never consciously thought “I will impress my sister and everyone else”. No. It was simply a good feeling deep inside when I thought of the finished product and how much pleasure it might give.

But folks, ‘it’ was there … lurking all the time: I should have known as soon as that word ‘impress’ came into play that something big (try HUGE) would go wrong! Hadn’t I learned yet? It appears that I had not.

I was so careful with the preparations, even measuring the slice tray to make sure I had the right size baking implement. All was well.

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The Lemon Ricotta Slice from the book

The biscuit base went well and I baked it for the 15 minutes it recommended. Sure, it shrunk a little but the baking paper was under it and all I needed now was the mixture of ricotta, eggs, lemon juice and cream to pour over the base, and then bake it for 25 minutes. Read here that this mixture was very runny … quite liquid in fact.

And it was precisely at this point that my serious error of judgment occurred. Would the liquid fit on top of the base without overflowing? Was the tin deep enough? There was no mention of a deep tin so I felt complacent and began to pour the mixture over the base, but decided I might just hold back a quarter of it due to my concern about the tin.

But no! This decision was far too sensible, so I thought ‘what the heck, it’ll go thick soon anyway’ and the rest of the liquid was poured. All was going reasonable well. The baking paper was holding it all together nicely … so I thought.

I was taking the tray from the bench to the oven, which was open and ready for the slice. Slowly … slowly … I went, and then the catastrophe occurred!

I’m not sure whether I bumped the tray or I tripped slightly, but the whole tray of Lemon Ricotta Slice went up in the air and liquid came down all over the open oven, the floor and the dirty bowls etc on the bench. All over my brand new shoes which I was ‘running in’ by wearing them all day. All over my jeans. I was covered in Lemon Ricotta slice folks. I even smelt and tasted like lemon and ricotta!

My dear husband – who happened to be standing nearby – nearly had a fit. I will never forget the look on his face when he saw the ricotta lemon mixture floating through the air.

Meanwhile I stood there … silent (unusual for me); totally immobilized by what had happened … but I never uttered one single swear word! Surely that must count for something? Geoff was the one who came running. With an old towel in hand, he began the task of mopping up. By this time, I had come alive and grabbed a tea towel to help.

Oh dear friends, I cannot describe to you the places in my kitchen that are filled with lemon ricotta mixture, the worse being the door of my oven that is now coated in the ricotta that we cannot reach. The door will have to come off and be hosed. Oh, and have I mentioned the ricotta cheese that has now filled up the delicate cut-out design on my shoes?

Geoff then said sharply, “Theresa, throw the rest of that slice away … bin it!” But no. I didn’t grow up with a mother and father who lived through the Great Depression for nothing. There was no way that what was left of that slice, was being thrown away. The base was intact and a tiny amount of ricotta remained … so into the oven it went.

As I closed the oven door, more ricotta mixture ran down the middle of the two panels of glass on the oven door in a final crescendo. Would this mess never end?

Well, the ‘Disaster’ is over now. The Ricotta Lemon slice is cooked. It doesn’t taste too bad considering it has hardly any ricotta mixture on it. However, it was far too ugly to take along to any grand occasion, let along a 50th Wedding Anniversary. Oh, I can only dream how it might have been …

The moral of this story folks is this: if you are wanting to ‘impress people’ with some wonderful cooking for a special occasion, think again, because the chances are that karma will get you … and all hell will break loose.

And would you believe – into the bargain – people have asked me for the recipe! Not even a disaster such as this, has stopped my friends wanting to make it. I think I’ll have to make it again just to reassure myself that I CAN DO IT. I am so pleased my friends have faith in me. And don’t forget to use a DEEP slice tin …

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Don’t be put off by my story … as long as the tin can hold the liquid!

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