Recipe: Louisa's Cake

(Sorry for the bad pics... I didn't take many and this is the best of the bunch! Ugh, night time shoots have the worst lighting... must work on my photography skillz)

In my quest to not waste food I needed to use up some ricotta. And I happened to have a honey crisp apple calling my name. I remembered a cake I had pinned a bit ago and thought it might be just what the pantry ordered--and oh my, it was even better than I imagined. 

The cake comes together quickly--the only annoying part was shredding the apple, which I did in a food processor so more of a clean-up annoyance than anything. Other than that, it's a 1-bowl cake.

Slightly adapted from Food52

Serves 6
9 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature (left on the counter over night)
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
3 large eggs (left on the counter overnight)
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 pinch salt
1 cup fresh ricotta--high quality is best, but I used Trader Joe's and it worked well. Don't go for low fat chemical-laden ones, though.
Zest of 1 lemon (Side note: drink lemon water while you bake or make a salad dressing for the salad you need to counterbalance the cake consumption... :) )
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 apple, peeled and grated (should yield about 1 cup, I did this in my food processor)
Confectioners' sugar for serving
Heat the oven to 400° F. 
Butter and flour a 9- or 10-inch springform pan.
Cream the butter and sugar in a standing mixer (with a paddle) until light and fluffy. I put my stand mixer on slow for 2 minutes, then to medium for 5. The longer I mix, the lighter and fluffier it becomes--though I recently saw something about over-creaming I'm not sure I agree with that... The sugar cuts little air pockets into the butter which later will help the crumb of your cake so it's tender and delicate.
Scrape down the sides between eggs if you think of it, if not, definitely do so before adding the eggs.
On the lowest speed, add the eggs one at a time. I mixed between each egg for about 90 seconds until it was well incorporated and fluffy. 
Add the lemon zest, ricotta, and salt. Mix at a low speed until incorporated. Scrape again.
Add the flour and baking powder. Mix at a low speed until JUST incorporated. Scrape the sides.
Stir in the shredded apple until it's fully incorporated (or mix at the lowest speed for as little time as possible--once flour is activated it can get tough if it's over mixed).
Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and spread it out. 
Bake for 30-40 minutes, until the cake is golden brown and the sides start to pull away from the pan.
Cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Turn the cake out of the pan onto a wire rack and let it cool completely. 


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