Monday, December 2, 2013

Lemon Ricotta Pound Cake

Any kind of cake or bread that has ricotta immediately makes me think of my grandmother, my Nona.  Specifically around Easter time we always had Ricotta cake, which from what I remember, is just yellow cake with ricotta mixed in and powdered sugar dusted on top.  So good, so Italian.  When I was looking for something to make with the lemons I just picked off my tree (sweet, right?), I came across this Lemon Ricotta Loaf from Alexandra's Kitchen.  

Look at those beautiful lemons!  The tree we had took 3 years to produce any fruit and since then, we've been getting 6-9 lemons each year (it's potted and not a huge tree).  I'm not sure why the loaf sank in the middle so much, but it didn't affect how wonderfully delicious it was! 

It makes one regular loaf or 3 mini loaves - I might double it next time to make two full size loaves.  We devoured one of these in less than a day!  Instead of spraying the loaf pan with non-stick spray, you butter the heck out of it.  It keeps it so moist and gives it that pretty golden color.  
Serves 8

Lemon Ricotta Pound Cake

1 1/2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 sticks of butter, room temperature, plus more to grease the pan
1 1/2 cups whole milk ricotta cheese
1 1/2 cups + 1 tablespoon sugar
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
zest of 1 lemon
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and butter (very well) a 9x5x3-inch loaf pan.  Combine flour, baking powder and salt; set aside. 

Using a mixer, cream butter, ricotta and sugar for about 3 minutes.  Beat in eggs one at a time.  Mix in the vanilla, lemon zest and lemon juice.  Add the dry ingredients, slowly, until just incorporated. 

Pour batter into pan and bake for 50-60 minutes.  Check at 40-45 minutes and if the top is getting too brown, cover loosely with foil.  It is done when the cake starts to pull away from the pan and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.  Let cool for about 15 minutes before turning out of the pan onto a wire rack to cool completely.  

(Source:  Recipe from Alexandra's Kitchen)

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