Author Notes: This recipe is adapted from Deb Perelman's The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook.
Use perfectly ripe plums when you make this, as they have a way of being honest, true to themselves, in this cake -- if they're too firm, you'll notice later. (Did you get an unlucky pint anyway? Defer to Merrill.) And at the risk of making enemies with Alice Medrich, I will tell you that I've made this without sifting, and no one complained. Sift if you wish, you won't hear from me if you don't. - Kenzi Wilbur
Makes one 9-inch cake
- Butter for pan
- 1 cup fresh, full-fat ricotta
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon freshly grated lemon zest
- 2 large eggs
- 1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 9-10 small plums, halved, pitted, and set aside
- 1 tablespoon sugar or honey
- Confectioner's sugar, for dusting
- Preheat your oven to 350° F, and butter and flour a 9-inch springform.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine and whisk the ricotta, oil, sugar, and zest together. Add one egg, whisk well; add the next, whisk again.
- Sift all of the dry ingredients -- save for the confectioner's sugar -- directly over the wet ingredients you just whisked together. Mix with a spoon gently until just combined. (Use more of a folding motion toward the end -- this will help keep the gluten from developing in your batter, which will keep your cake from toughening or becoming too dense.)
- Pour the batter into the cake pan, spreading it out evenly as needed. If your plums are very tart, toss them with a tablespoon of sugar or honey, and place them in the top of the cake, cut-side down. Bake for 35 minutes, or until the top is golden brown, the edges are pulling away from the pan, and a cake tester or toothpick comes out of the cake cleanly. Cool in the pan for 10-15 minutes, then turn out to finish cooling on a rack.
- Dust with confectioner's sugar, and serve slightly warm or at room temperature. This cake wouldn't be opposed to whipped cream or whipped mascarpone, either.
- This recipe is a Community Pick!