Saturday, July 20 2024

I’ve always tried to make easy dishes, but the intention is to do even better with less, to go to the essentials, to enhance the never-boring taste of the best things: butter, sugar, flour, eggs and little else.

Essential is something that is enough unto itself to be perfect, like this ricotta and almond cake as fluffy as a cloud and as sweet as cotton candy.


 

 

For a 10-inch baking pan, I used a springform pan.

 

SERVINGS:6

INGREDIENTS:

For the crust:

  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 1 egg yolk
  • A pinch of salt
  • 1/3 cup almonds

For the filling:

  • 3 1/4 cups ricotta cheese
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • Lemon zest
  • Amaretto liqueur or almond extract (1 tsp)

For the decoration:

  • Whole almonds, chopped almonds, or sliced almonds
  • Powdered sugar

 

METHOD:

For the crust

Put the sugar, almonds and salt in a blender and pulse until finely blended.

Add the flour and butter and process until the mixture is not too compact but uniform in color and texture.

Only last add the egg yolk and knead until fully incorporated.

Line the mold with a sheet of wet and squeezed baking paper and on the bottom distribute the mixture with your fingers, leveling it to obtain an even thickness.

Cover and let rest 30 minutes in the refrigerator.

For the filling

In a bowl, work the ricotta cheese with the grated lemon peel and the amaretto or almond extract if you prefer to avoid using spirits.

Also add the yolks separated from the egg whites and whip the latter until stiff with the sugar.

Combine the two mixtures gently with movements from the bottom to the top to avoid disassembling the egg whites and pour the result into the mold covering the base.

Bake at 300 F in a preheated static oven for about 1 hour and 40 minutes; the cake should brown slightly on the surface.

 

If you notice the cake browning excessively you can cover it with foil and finish baking.

Gently take the cake out of the oven and let it atomize inside the mold for about half an hour. It will deflate a lot, which is perfectly normal.

Only when it is warm and less delicate unmold it and let it cool completely on a wire rack.

Before serving sprinkle it with plenty of powdered sugar and decorate with almonds to taste.

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