Sunday, November 22, 2009
Apple Ricotta Coffee Cake
You're probably thinking that you don't need another coffee cake recipe. Until last week, that's what I thought too. But then I had a bite of this cake.
Like many of the best recipe discoveries, this was born out of necessity. An evening at a friend's house turned into an impromptu sleepover (it turns out that reading a bedtime story to a five-year-old can have the unintended side effect of leaving you asleep on the couch), which led to an impromptu brunch the next morning. There was a cup of ricotta cheese in the fridge left over from a previous recipe, a few apples in the fruit basket, and a pantry full of baking supplies. A bit of internet searching turned up this delicious recipe.
This is a pretty hefty cake, weighing a staggering amount and filling the springform pan up to the brim. But luckily it keeps for several days, thanks to the ricotta cheese that creates a lusciously moist crumb. A layer of apples and struesel are snuck into the center, and crunchy pecans seasoned with more streusel crumbs flavor the top. This is a cake that makes you want to take a coffee break.
Apple Ricotta Coffee Cake
adapted from Seriously Good
2/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
6 Tbsp butter, cut into 6 pieces
1 3/4 cups flour
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup ricotta cheese
2 small crisp apples (or, in our case, one frighteningly large one), peeled and diced into 1/2" cubes, tossed with lemon juice
1/2 cup chopped pecans
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 9" springform pan, set aside.
To make the streusel: Place the brown sugar, flour, rolled oats, cinnamon and salt in a food processor. Pulse a few times to combine. Add the 6 tablespoons of butter, and pulse several times until you can no longer see lumps of butter. Set aside.
To make the cake batter: Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a bowl. Set aside. In a mixer, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the vanilla and eggs one by one, beating well after each addition. Add half the ricotta, mix to combine, and then add half the flour and mix well. Repeat with the remaining ricotta and flour mixture.
To assemble the cake: Spread half the batter into the prepared pan. Sprinkle with half of the streusel filling, and all of the apples. Spread the remaining batter of the top -- it is a somewhat thick batter, so plop spoonfuls over the top and spread gently. Sprinkle the top with the pecans and remaining streusel. Bake until a tester comes out clean, about an hour or longer. Cool somewhat to allow the cake to set before eating.