It has been just too nice here the past couple of days. I have been taking Martini and Latte for extra- long walks to soak up some sunshine and shake off the long winter blues. Although who are we to complain? Compared to the rest of the country we have had a really mild winter.
This weather makes me think of the springs I enjoyed growing up. Spring makes me think of happiness and it also brings up memories of family Sunday dinners on a warm sunny day. They were always a bit nicer than the dinners from the rest of the week. We would all sit down together, and afterwards spend some time outside. We would go for a walk or visit with other family, but after all of that…we would have a dessert! That thought of dessert lead me to make a Ricotta Cake the other night.
It is a simple and light dessert. In my personal opinion it is not too sweet, not too heavy, and its texture & taste is fitting for a bright and sunny spring day. I always serve it up with a real simple berry sauce of some kind. This dessert reminds me of something my Aunt Kim would have made for all of us to have after one of these meals. It also reminds me of the type of dessert my maiden grandmother would have liked. So after dinner the other night (and every night after that until it was gone) Brian and I enjoyed some Ricotta Cake with a Raspberry and Honey Puree. It was light, simple, and perfect to reflect the sunny days we have been enjoying. Try it for yourself; I am sure it will be love at first taste.
Ricotta Cake (serves 10 – 12)
1 cup sugar
1 ½ lbs whole milk ricotta
1 vanilla bean, split and scraped
¼ cup AP flour
½ tsp of sea salt
Powdered Sugar (optional)
First, preheat your oven to 375 degrees and butter all sides of a 9 to 10 inch spring form pan; then sprinkle them with flour. Place your ricotta was in the bowl of a food processor and pulse a couple of times to smooth out the curds of the cheese.
Next, separate your eggs. In a large bowl place your ricotta, sugar, vanilla seeds, and yolks. Whisk them together well until it is smooth. In the bowl of an electric mixer place your egg whites and whisk on high until double the volume and holds a soft peak.
Then, sprinkle the top of your cheese mixture with your flour and sea salt. Mix it together until it is just combined. Then fold you whipped egg whites into it all. Keep folding until it it a smooth and light looking batter. Pour the mixture into your prepared pan, place in the center of your oven for about an hour. You are looking for the top of your cake to be slightly golden and set in the center (not jigglly).
Finally, when your cake is done let it cool about an hour at room temperature. Then place it in your refrigerator to chill completely (about 3 – 4 hours). Once cake is chilled you can remove it from the pan carefully, before slicing and serving. Will keep for up to four days in your refrigerator, and covered with plastic. If you like you can dust with powdered sugar upon serving.
Raspberry Honey Puree (makes about 1 ½ cups)
Notes: being that the berries are not quite in and ripe yet this season you can easily replace the berries with frozen ones. Just let them defrost before using.
2 – 3 cups raspberries
¼ cup honey
First, place your berries in your food processor and pulse to break it all down. Place a fine mesh strainer over a bowl and scrape your raspberry puree into your strainer.
Next, gently press on your raspberry pulp to release all the juice into the bowl below. When you feel you have all the juice that you can scrape out of the berry seeds and pulp, discard the pulp and seeds that remain in the strainer.
Finally, pour you honey into the strained raspberry mixture and whisk it all together. Once it appears that the honey has dissolved it is ready to serve. This will keep refrigerated for about a week, once covered and sealed well.