This eggy ricotta sponge cake is simple to toss together and a great foil for a syrupy fruit compote. Henkeeper Anne MacPherson selected it from The Silver Spoon (Phaedon Press), a recently-translated 1930s treasury of Italian home-cooking. Narragansett Creamery Ricotta was delicious in this recipe; Shy Brothers’ Cloumage fresh cheese, if you can lay your hands on some, would be another excellent choice.
• 4 eggs
• ½ cup light brown sugar, plus 2-3 tablespoons for sprinkling
• 1 pound (1¾ cups) ricotta cheese
• zest of ½ a lemon
• 5 tablespoons olive oil
• ¾ cup milk
• 2¼ cups all-purpose flour
• 1 tablespoon baking powder
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a deep 9- or 10-inch tart pan or cake pan with removable bottom.
Whisk eggs and brown sugar together until light and foamy. Stir in ricotta cheese, lemon zest, olive oil, and milk. Sift flour
and baking powder together, mix briefly but thoroughly into egg mixture, and pour batter into prepared pan. Sprinkle with
additional brown sugar. Bake for 50 to 65 minutes (the larger the diameter of the pan, the less time it takes), or until a toothpick poked into the center emerges clean. Cool on a rack before unmolding.