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Lemon Ricotta Cake

(Serves 6 to 8)
Lemon Ricotta Cake
Lemon Ricotta Cake is a combination of a pudding and a cake.  Remove the cake from the oven
when the center is still slightly soft.  It is best served warm or at room temperature. When served
warm, the luscious creamy center balances the texture of the almonds and tartness of the lemon. 
Once the cake is refrigerated the center becomes firm.
Ingredients:

1 tablespoon butter
6 ounces blanched almonds, ground
1/4 cup flour
6 ounces butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
4 eggs, separated
3/4 cup ricotta cheese
Zest of 3 lemons
1/4 cup lemon juice
Confectioners' sugar for dusting

Directions:

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.  Grease an 8-inch springform pan with the
tablespoon of butter.  Line bottom of pan with parchment paper.

In a bowl, combine the ground almonds with the flour.  Set aside.

Using an electric mixer, beat 6 ounces of butter with sugar until light and fluffy.
Add the egg yolks.  Continue beating until well combined.  Add the ricotta,
lemon zest, and lemon juice.  Beat until combined.  Fold in the almond-flour
mixture.  Set aside.

In a clean bowl, beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form.  Gently fold the
whites into the cake mixture.  Pour into the prepared pan.  Bake 45 minutes
until lightly browned and still slightly soft in the center.  Remove from oven and
allow to cool in the pan.  Dust top with confectioners' sugar.  Serve warm or at
room temperature.
Lemon Ricotta Cake
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The outermost layer of a lemon rind is full of aromatic essential oil that can liven up dishes, desserts,and drinks.

To grate a lemon:
Rub a lemon against a rasp or grater with very small holes, rotating the fruit as soon as the white pith appears.  One lemon should yield 2 to 3 teaspoons of fluffy zest.
Use lemon zest when baking sweets, making salad dressings or marinades, or for sprinkling on roasted vegetables.
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DESSERTS  >  CAKES WITH FRUIT AND/OR NUTS  >  LEMON RICOTTA CAKE
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