On an overcast afternoon two weeks ago, my cousin and I spent a glorious 30 minutes picking blueberries in her parents’ garden. We were trying to beat the rain and had a race to see who could fill a container first in our version of Quick Blueberry Picking. She won, but I think I ended up winning overall.
Once the rain started, we ran home, hands stained and laughing the whole way. She generously gave me half the blueberry bounty. I’ve been saving these precious blueberries in my freezer until I find time to make them into something special. Last weekend, that’s exactly what I did when my daughter and I spent an afternoon in the kitchen together.
My daughter did most of the work, but as the old TV commercial said, “And I helped.”
The star of our kitchen was this amazing Almond Blueberry Ricotta Cake, based on a recipe by Dev Amadeo. We’ve tweaked it slightly, but I expect the basics of this recipe to be something we’ll revisit many times in the years to come. It’s crispy on the edges and soft in the middle. The golden slivered almonds that top it are perfect.
Blueberry Almond Ricotta Cake
About 10 servings, depending on recipe Dev Amadeo
2 cups blueberries
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon fine sea salt
1 stick unsalted butter, barely softened
1½ cups raw or granulated cane sugar
2 eggs at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ teaspoon almond extract
¼ cup vegetable or grapeseed oil
¾ cup ricotta cheese
¾ cup slivered almonds
½ cup heavy whipped cream
- Preheat to 350 degrees.
- Grease a 9 inch springform pan or line with parchment paper.
- Mix the berries (I used frozen) with a tablespoon of flour.
- Add flour, salt and baking soda to a medium bowl.
- In a mixing bowl, beat the butter on the slowest speed for 30 seconds until creamy.
- Add the sugar and beat for one minute until the butter and sugar form a crumbly paste.
- Add the eggs, one at a time, then the vanilla, almond extract, oil and ricotta. Mix until homogeneous.
- Using a sieve over the bowl, add the flour mixture on top, about a cup at a time.
- Stop the mixer and mix about four more strokes with a rubber spatula. Gently stir in the blueberries and fold into the batter.
- Transfer the batter to the prepared pan.
- Arrange the slivered almonds around the edge as a border (about a 2″ circle around the edge) and garnish with 14-20 blueberries.
- Place the pan in the oven and bake for 60 to 65 minutes. The area in the center of the cake will still be a little gooey, but that doesn’t mean the batter is raw.
- Remove from the oven and let cool for a few minutes before removing from the springform pan.
- Whip the cream while the cake cools and serve warm. (It also reheats nicely on day #2 by placing it in a 300 degree oven for 10 minutes.) Drop a dollop of whipped cream on each slice and enjoy!