I couldn’t resist a basket of freshly harvested organic cranberries at the farmer”s market this morning. Since I was making this ricotta cake today, I simply topped it with some of these tart little jewels. Check it out – this recipe is adapted from a traditional Italian recipe and I’ve modiified it so that it contains less sugar, spelt flour (which is a non-gmo ancient wheat grain), and added a bit of vanilla. So, the cake maintains it’s moist lemony goodness, but is Canadianized with cranberry and pear. This will be really good for Thanksgiving dinner or If you want an everyday cake to have on the counter for the weekend, or a birthday cake for a loved one or an excellent dessert for a dinner party – it’s really versatile because it’s just damn good. The gluten-free version can be found here: GF Ricotta Cake, You can also find a pictorial tutorial at that link if you have questions or need direction.
1/2 cup plus 1 Tbsp unsalted butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
3 large eggs
zest of one lemon
1 cup ricotta cheese
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup spelt flour (or all purpose)
1 tbsp baking powder
1 pear (or apple), peeled and grated
1 cup fresh cranberries
confectioners’ sugar, for decoration
Heat oven to 375 F. Grease a 9 inch round baking pan and place on a baking sheet. Set aside.
In small bowl, mix together dry ingredients: flour and baking powder. Set aside.
In stand mixer, cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy – 3 or 4 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time until well incorporated. Add ricotta cheese, vanilla and lemon zest, mix until well combined.
Gradually add flour mixture until well incorporated into wet ingredients. Fold grated pear (or apple) into mixture with a spatula. Fold in 2/3 of the cranberries. (save rest for top)
Scrape batter into pan and smooth top. Place remaining cranberries on top of batter. Bake for 35-45 minutes – until golden brown and tester comes out clean. Center of cake should be set. Cool for 10 minutes then remove from pan to cake platter. When cooled completely, sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar. Slice and serve.
Keeps well, covered, for 2-3 days, but probably won’t last that long. Enjoy.