Fresh Ricotta Cake

serves 8

9 Tablespoons (4 1/2 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 cup plus 2 Tablespoons granulated sugar

3 extra large eggs, at room temperature

1 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

1/8 teaspoon kosher salt

1 cup fresh ricotta, homemade or store bought

2 teaspoons freshly grated lemon zest

1 Tablespoon baking powder

1 medium apple, peeled and grated (should yield about 1 cup)

1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Confectioners' sugar for dusting

Preheat the oven to 400º F.  Butter and flour a 9-inch springform pan.  Line the bottom of the pan with a round of parchment paper; set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.  Beating on low, add the eggs one at a time.  Using a rubber spatula, scrape down the sides of the bowl and beat just until incorporated.

Slowly add the flour salt, ricotta, zest, baking powder, apple, and vanilla, beating until smooth.  Scrape the batter into the prepared pan; smooth the top.  Bake for 25-30 minutes until the cake is golden and the sides start to pull away from the pan.

Cool in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes.  Gently run a knife around the sides of the pan.  Carefully release the sides of the pan and allow the cake to cool completely on the wire rack.  Dust the top of the cake with the confectioners' sugar.  Serve with fresh fruit or your favorite dessert sauce.  Enjoy!