Living out in the sticks or always being on the road in someone else's kitchen, you would think I'd make sure I had everything I needed BEFORE I started cooking. I'm not sure how many times I need to learn that lesson... BUT if you watched me on Food Network Star, you know I am usually able to come up with something pretty good, even if I originally started out with plans to make a completely different dish. That's what happened yesterday. I planned to make my Mom's pound cake for Easter but as I was already in the middle of creaming the butter, I discovered the cream cheese was waaay past the expiration date. I did however, have some perfectly good ricotta cheese in the fridge so I ended up with a Lemon Ricotta Pound Cake. It was so light, so moist yet a bit fluffy and very good. It was so good, I've already gotten a request for the recipe so I thought I'd share it with all of you, too. This will never replace my Mom's pound cake but I gotta tell you, it is the perfect shower, party or afternoon tea cake. Put it on your list to try!
LEMON RICOTTA POUND CAKE
Cook Time: 1 hour 20 minutes or until a wooden skewer comes out clean
3 sticks butter, room temperature
1 1/2 cups whole milk ricotta cheese, room temperature
3 cups granulated sugar
2 teaspoons lemon zest
juice of one lemon (about 1/4 cup)
4 whole eggs, room temperature
2 egg whites, room temperature
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 tsp lemon extract
1/8 tsp salt
Juice of 1 lemon
1 1/2 cups Confectioners' sugar (plus more if desired)
Preheat oven to 300. Prep two 9 x 5 loaf pans. Grease and flour or spray all sides with Baker's Joy.
In the bowl of your mixer, beat the butter at medium speed until creamy. Add the ricotta and beat until combined. Then add the sugar, a little at a time. Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Next, add the lemon zest and the eggs, one at a time, beating until they are combined. Add the egg whites and beat until they are just incorporated. Turn the speed on the mixer down. Add the lemon juice. Combine the salt and the flour; adding a little at a time to the mixer until it is blended. Add the vanilla and lemon extracts.
Pour into the prepared pans. Place on a baking sheet and place on center rack of your oven. Bake for 1 hour 20 to 1 hour 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes in the pan and then turn out onto a wire cooling rack to allow it to cool until just slightly warm before icing.
For the glaze, combine the lemon juice and Confectioners' sugar and whisk; the glaze should be thick and creamy and not too stiff. You should be able to pour it. Add more lemon juice or sugar as necessary to achieve the pourable consistency.
Using a toothpick, poke a few holes into the top of the cake. Pour onto the top of the cake and spread. Allow to cool. Add a second layer if you want a thick glaze.
Serve with berries, whipped cream or any of your favorites.