Plethora of Ricotta

Lemon Ricotta Pound Cake

What do you do when ricotta is on sale, even if you cook for one and the size that’s on sale is the “family size”, 32 ounce?

Buy it and bake cakes with it, that’s what!

Trying my hardest to steer away from flour/butter/sugar, that’s why I decided not to bake a cake for my recent birthday and went with fresh tarts (which by the way also include flour/butter/sugar).  I was craving cake because I skipped cake – go figure!

Found a few recipes for a coffee cake which contained less sugar but decided on this Lemon Ricotta Pound Cake, of all choices.

Straight from the oven, I immediately sliced it and doled it out to friends and neighbors.  I actually stored a big piece in the freezer; it’s in there now.  Out of sight, out of mind – well, maybe.

I used this recipe from a fellow food blogger, Alexandra Cooks making slight changes:  used 2 eggs, used ½ cup of plain Greek yogurt, and used 1 cup of ricotta.  Really easy recipe with buttery, moist results!  So good, really!

Lemon Ricotta Pound Cake

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 ½ sticks unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 cups whole-milk ricotta cheese (I used 1 cup of part-skim)
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
zest of 1 lemon
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
½ cup Greek yogurt, plain

Process

Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Grease a 9x5x3” loaf pan or 3 mini loaf pans and line bottom with parchment.

In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt. Stir to blend.

Using a mixer, cream the butter, ricotta and granulated sugar until blended, it’s ok if there are some visible pieces of butter/cheese. In other words, the batter will not look entirely smooth. With the machine running, add the eggs 1 at a time. Add the vanilla, zest and lemon juice until combined. Add the dry ingredients, careful to just combine and not over mix.

Add to pans and bake for about 40 minutes; test with a skewer or toothpick for doneness.

**Note:  a couple of changes I would make – cream the butter and sugar first for about 5 minutes then add the remaining wet ingredients; I would also use 1 stick of butter and 1 cup of sugar instead of 1 and 1/2.  I do plan to bake this again as it is so easy and results are great!


New Jersey Blues In Pie

Blueberry Pie

Blueberry Pie

Blueberries on sale…  Uh oh, here we go…

My first attempt at a double-crusted fruit pie!  The crust was phenomenal and great fun to make!

The flavor of this pie (more like a cobbler) was top notch however, the filling did not solidify due to the amount of liquid added.  If you decide to attempt this recipe, please use 1/2 cup of water for the filling recipe.

Blueberry Pie

Recipe

Blueberry Filling (Doubled my own Blueberry Crostata filling recipe with some added flavor.)

Ingredients
2 pints New Jersey blueberries
1 C 1/2 C water
3 T potato starch
1 C organic sugar
4 t freshly squeezed lemon juice
4 t freshly squeezed orange juice
1 t lemon zest
1/4 t salt
pinch nutmeg, cinnamon, and red pepper flakes

Process:  cook 2 cups of the blueberries in the water; bring to a boil.  In a separate bowl mix the potato starch, lemon and orange juices, sugar, zest, salt and other spices; add this mixture to the boiling blueberries and stir constantly; let simmer for about 2 minutes and remove from heat; after cooled, gently add to the remaining blueberries mixing well.

Crust (Used King Arthur’s double crust recipe.)

Ingredients
2 1/2 C flour
1 1/4 t salt
1/4 C shortening
10 T chilled butter
6-10 T ice water
1 egg, well mixed

Process:  combine flour and salt; cut in the shortening and butter; add ice water checking for softened yet not overly wet dough; lay out on floured surface; divide in half and form two disks; wrap in plastic and refrigerate for about an hour; roll out dough to fit pie plate; add to plate and refrigerate to relax the gluten.

Roll out top dough crust; add to parchment paper and refrigerate. Add filling to chilled pie crust; apply egg wash to the crust edges; add top crust and crimp and seal all around.  Brush entire pie with egg wash; sprinkle with sugar; bake for 1 1/2 hours in a preheated 350F degree oven.

Videos for the various techniques to crimp pie crusts can be found here.

Blueberry Pie

Good luck, have fun and enjoy the delicious benefits!