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.
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
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)