Wednesday, June 29, 2016

A delicious solution to the summer berry problem (if "problem" is the right word)

Since we seem to be getting all Suzy Homemaker over here, maybe it's time to share a recipe.

I generally don't make impulse purchases at the grocery store checkout lane, but the other day I was looking at a magazine I'd never seen before called Sift, published by the King Arthur Flour Company. Because my husband's former bread-baking business relied heavily on King Arthur Flour, we get their catalogs all the time, and I love their recipes. So I grabbed the magazine and threw it on the conveyor belt without looking at the price. ($12.95!!!! When did magazines get so pricey? But it's stuffed full of great recipes so I'm considering it the equivalent of a cookbook purchase.)

Anyway: I tried this recipe and made one modification to create a spectacular summer-berry treat. It's easy and different and I'd make it again in a heartbeat. The cornmeal gives it a slight crunch and a muffiny texture, and the berries just melt into wonderfulness. Yum.

Cornmeal and Ricotta Cake with Fresh Berries

1 1/4 all-purpose flour
2/3 cup medium-ground yellow cornmeal
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
10 tbsp unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs, room temperature
1 cup whole milk ricotta, room temperature
1 tsp orange zest
1 tsp lemon zest
1 1/4 cups (about 6 ounces) summer berries (blueberries, raspberries, blackberries) 
confectioners sugar for dusting

Preheat oven to 350. Butter an 8" springform pan or 8" cake pan. Line with parchment paper and butter that too. Dust lightly with flour.

Combine flour, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda. Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition. Add ricotta and zests and mix. Stir in the flour mixture by hand just until combined, and then add the berries.

Fill prepared pan with batter and smooth the top. Bake until cake tester inserted in center comes out clean, about 45 to 55 minutes. cool 15 minutes before removing from pan. Dust top with confectioners sugar.

My variation: I found blueberries on sale and bought more than the cake required. Since I'd taken the zest from an orange and didn't want the rest of it to go to waste, I juiced the orange and combined the orange juice with the extra blueberries and just a few spoonfuls of sugar. I mashed the blueberries slightly just to bring out the juice, and when the cake was cool, I served it with the berry mixture spooned on top. Really delicious and a great way to take advantage of an abundance of berries.

Now I want to try some other recipes from the magazine. Raspberry frozen yogurt? Raspberry cream cheese scones? Sign me up!

No comments: