Early morning on a Sunday in July. I was woken by a chatty Elena, eager to begin another day of crawling around the house and exploring every cupboard and corner. Whenever I start removing bowls, measuring cups, and mixing spoons from kitchen drawers, she becomes curious about what I'm up to. I measure, pour, and mix as she watches, until she inevitably loses interest and begins crawling and exploring once again.
The object of her curiosity that morning was a berry ricotta coffee cake. I had a half-used pint of ricotta and some wrinkling blueberries that needed to be rescued. A moist, berry-filled cake was the perfect solution, filling our kitchen with the smell of warm summer fruit.
1 cup white flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
2 Tbsp baking powder
1 tspn fine sea salt
1 1/2 cups ricotta
3/4 tspn vanilla
1 tspn lemon juice
1/2 tspn lemon zest
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 1/2 cups blackberries, raspberries, and/or blueberries
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a medium cast iron pan or cake pan with butter. Mix flours, sugars, baking powder, and sea salt in a large mixing bowl. In a medium mixing bowl, beat the eggs until smooth. Add the ricotta, vanilla, lemon juice, and zest and mix until smooth. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix until just blended. Slowly fold in the butter and 1/2 cup berries. Spread 1/2 the dough into the pan, sprinkle 1/2 cup berries and then spread the rest of the dough, sprinkling the remaining berries on top. Adapted from Bon Appétit.