Spring is here and the first strawberries are in stores. Oranges are abundant and so are blueberries. Try this delicious Ricotta Orange Pound Cake topped with fresh fruit of your choice and a dollop of whipped cream.
1 1/2 cups cake flour (see below for substitute)
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter, room temperature, use butter papers to grease the baking pan
1 1/2 cups whole milk ricotta cheese
1 1/2 cups sugar, plus 1 tablespoon (for macerating fruit)
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 orange, zested
2 tablespoons Amaretto (or 1/2 tsp Almond extract)
Powdered sugar, for dusting (optional)
1 pint fresh strawberries, hulled and quartered or 3 oranges, cut into supremes
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9 by 5 by 3-inch loaf pan with butter (use butter wrappers to grease). In a medium bowl combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. Stir with whisk to combine.
Using an electric mixer, cream together the butter, ricotta, and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. With the machine running, add the eggs 1 at a time. Add the vanilla, orange zest, and Amaretto (or almond extract) until combined. Add the dry ingredients, a small amount at a time, until just incorporated. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan and bake until a toothpick comes out clean and the cake is beginning to pull away from the sides of the pan, about 45 to 50 minutes. Let the cake cool in the pan for 10 minutes then remove from pan and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Using a mesh sieve, dust the cooled cake with powdered sugar.
Meanwhile, place the strawberries (or orange supremes) in a small bowl with the remaining 1 tablespoon sugar. Let sit until the juices have pooled around the strawberries.
To serve, slice the cake and serve with a spoonful of strawberries and their juices over the top of the cake.
Recipe courtesy Giada De Laurentiis, 2007
Cake Flour Substitute: Measure out 1 cup of all-purpose flour. Remove 2 tablespoons of all-purpose flour and place it back in your flour canister. Replace the removed all-purposeflour with 2 tablespoons of cornstarch. Sift flour 5 times.