Thursday, August 1, 2013

Finally - A Ricotta Pound Cake that works - with blueberries and a crumb topping too!




Have you ever tried a recipe two or even three times, following it to the letter, only having it flop for no discernible reason? It happened to me when I made a ricotta poundcake that other bloggers raved about. I respect the author of the recipe and love her other recipes, but her ricotta pound cake never worked for me, no matter how meticulous I was in following the recipe. So when I looked for a recipe to accommodate the blueberries and ricotta in my refrigerator, I approached this one with trepidation.

Still, I dove in, taking a few precautions, just as I had done with the prior ricotta pound cake recipe. For example, I made sure all the ingredients - eggs, ricotta, butter, blueberries, were at room temperature. I drained the ricotta for a few hours to decrease the water in the cake.

Throwing caution to the wind, I decided to change the recipe a bit and add a crumb topping. OK, this could ruin the cake I thought, but when I saw how thick the batter was, I knew the crumbs wouldn't sink to the bottom. And they didn't. They remained on top, baking to a golden crunchy crispness.

The cake itself has a tender, buttery crumb and just a hint of lemon. I might increase the lemon zest next time just a bit. But even without more lemon zest, it's just about perfect.


This is definitely a recipe worth keeping -- and a cake worth baking over and over again - with or without the blueberries. I think my search for a good ricotta pound cake has finally ended.


Lemon Blueberry Ricotta Cake
Adapted from Simply Recipes.com
my notes in red printable recipe here

1 3/4 cups (250 g) all purpose flour
2 t. baking powder
1/2 t. salt
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter
1 cup (8 ounces, 230 g) ricotta cheese
(I used 1/2 of a 1 lb. container. After I drained it for several hours, half of the container weighed only about 7 ounces)
1 1/2 cups sugar (300 g)
3 large eggs
1 t. vanilla extract
1 T. lemon zest
1 cup blueberries (5 ounces, 140 g)

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. (160 degrees C). Prepare a 9 x 5 inch loaf pan, smearing the inside with butter. In a medium bowl, vigorously whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt.
2 Use an electric mixer (you can mix by hand but will get better results if you use an electric mixer) to beat together the butter, ricotta, and sugar, on high speed, for 3 minutes, until pale and fluffy.  Add the eggs one at a time, mixing on medium speed for one minute after each addition. Mix in the lemon zest and vanilla extract. Don't worry if the batter looks a little curdled at this point. It isn't curdled, it just looks that way.
3 Remove the bowl from the mixer and stir in the dry ingredients in 3 or 4 additions, until just incorporated. Do not over mix. Stir in the blueberries.
4 Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan, smoothing out the top with a rubber spatula.
Optional: Cover with the crumb topping.
 Place on a baking sheet on the middle oven rack of the oven. (This will help moderate the temperature at the bottom of the pan.) Bake for 65 to 75 minutes, (I baked it for 1 hr. 20 minutes) or until a toothpick comes out clean. For the last 10 minutes of baking you may want to put a sheet of aluminum foil over the top of the pan to keep it from browning further.
5 Remove from oven and let cool for 15 minutes in the pan. Then run a dull knife around the edge of the cake to make sure it is separated from the pan. Gently remove the cake from the pan and let cool completely on a wire rack. Let cook completely before slicing.

Crumb Topping (optional):
1/8 c. white sugar
1/8 c. light brown sugar
1/2 t. cinnamon
pinch nutmeg
1/2 stick butter, melted
3/4 cup - 1 cup flour

Melt the butter. Mix the sugars and spices and add the melted butter. Then stir in the flour. It should be damp and lumpy enough to form clumps.
Yield: Serves 10 to 12.

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21 comments:

bellini said...

And our search has ended too.

Jersey Girl Cooks said...

I could use a piece of this to go with my coffee right now. It looks so delcious!

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

Beautiful and ever so tempting!

Cheers,

Rosa

Proud Italian Cook said...

Yay! I'm glad you found one that worked for you! Your batter and crumb topping looks perfect, it just screams moist and delicious! You now got me thinking I should add some blueberries while they are still in season.

Ely said...

Linda.. è magnifico! Adoro la ricotta e anche i mirtilli!!! Sei unica!! Un abbraccio!

Stacey Snacks said...

I always think of you when I make a ricotta cake! Glad you finally have one that worked! I love the crumb topping. :)

Claudia said...

I have yet to make a ricotta pound cake that didn't fall in the middle! I shall try this - have a gathering next weekend and doing all Italian desserts. If by some far-out chance that it doesn't work, I will eat it all by myself!

Daniela said...

Delizioso il tuo dolce , segno subito la ricetta. buona giornata Daniela.

Rosemary Wolbert said...

I've got the blueberries, got the ricotta . . . ready.

Frank Fariello said...

Hmmm.... to be honest, I didn't even know that ricotta poundcake existed. Curious to know more about it: different texture than the regular kind?

Ciao Chow Linda said...

Frank - It is a different texture - a lot more moist than regular pound cake. But it can also be gummy too, depending on the recipe. If you follow this one, (draining the ricotta first and making sure to bake it long enough) it won't be gummy.

janie said...

This loks like the perfect summer cake!

AdriBarr said...

Hi Linda,

It looks beautiful. I too have been disappointed in ricotta pound cakes, having made more than I have fingers to count. I have found that even with draining the ricotta the crumb is very tight, the texture glutinous, and the mouthfeel gummy, although the flavor is almost always superb. I will have to give this one a go. I love the additions of blueberries and crumb topping. Thanks!

Claudia said...

It's currently cooling on my stove for a family get-together. It's - gorgeous! (Also made your chive vinegar - that's gorgeous, too!)

Michelle - Majella Home Cooking said...

Gorgeous, Linda! I have a recipe for ricotta pound cake that I love - moist, light, fluffy BUT it ALWAYS overflows out of the loaf pan while it bakes. Look forward to trying yours! Un abbraccio, Michelle

Marcellina In Cucina said...

Yes! Very frustrating trying a recipe over and over! Glad you persisted - this looks amazing!

Chiara Giglio said...

perfetto per la colazione, adoro la ricotta e proverò a fare come suggerisci tu, grazie ! Buona settimana...

Roz Corieri Paige said...

Oh yes, as you said, this is one keeper recipe . . . the crumb topping totally captured my (sweet loving) heart! Lovely photos too Linda! Just lovely!!

xox
Roz

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

This cake looks so moist and delicious, Linda! I love blueberries and buy them all the time--I will definitely try this recipe!

MorsoDiFame Antonella said...

E' stupendo!!! O_O Se a casa hai amici e sfoderi una colazione così , diventi un mito eterno! :D <3

SavoringTime in the Kitchen said...

The title of your post makes me want to start baking tonight :) It looks absolutely delicious!