Pine Nut and Ricotta Cake

Another cake on this gorgeous Sunday morning. For a woman who doesn’t like to bake, I sure have been doing a lot of it lately. Maybe my maternal instincts are kicking in, or perhaps I have finally begun to understand the enjoyment of such a simple yet satisfying task. This particular recipe yields a creamy yet fluffy cake that is almost souffle-like in texture. Don’t be afraid if it is a bit giggly when you remove it from the oven, it is mostly egg and ricotta and will both continue to bake and settle once you remove it. The final product is zesty and creamy, with a lovely browned crust.

Pine Nut & Ricotta Cake (serves 12)

1 3/4 cup pine nuts
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 1/4 cups sugar
8 eggs, separated
1 cup ricotta cheese
finely grated zest of 5 lemons
juice of 1 lemon
1/2 cup all-purpose flour

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Butter a 12-inch cake pan.

Roast the nuts in the oven until golden brown (10 minutes). Coarsely chop in a food processor. Beat the butter and sugar together with an electric mixer until pale and fluffy. Add the eggs yolks, one by one and mix. In a separate bowl beat the ricotta lightly with a fork. Add the lemon zest, lemon juice and chopped nuts. Beat the eggs whites until they form soft peaks.

Fold the egg and butter mixture into the ricotta, then sift in the flour, and finally, fold in the beaten eggs whites. Spoon into the prepared cake pan and bake in the preheated oven for 45 minutes, until slightly brown.

Remove the pan and let sit for 5 minutes. Turn out on a cake rack and serve.

We topped the cake with macerated raspberries (2 cups raspberries, juice of 1 lemon, 2 tbsp sugar – let sit 30 minutes).