SEPTEMBER: Cherry Ricotta Coffee/Dessert Cake

This recipe was in Bon Appetit this summer. Being cherry season I had to try it with cherries instead of the suggested raspberries. I always buy a bag and then cannot eat them all fast enough. This was a great solution.


1.5 cups of all purpose flour
1 cup of sugar
2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
3 large eggs
1 cup of ricotta cheese
.5 cup of sour cream or any combination of the two to make 1.5 cups
.5 tsp vanilla
1 stick, 4 oz, unsalted butter, melted
1.5 cup of fresh cherries, pitted and cut in half
dusting of sugar

Preheat oven to 350. Butter and line a 9 inch pan with waxed paper or parchment paper. Butter the paper or use a nonstick baking spray.

Whisk the dry ingredients in a large bowl.

Whisk ricotta, sour cream and vanilla in a medium bowl until smooth.
Fold into dry ingredients just until blended. Fold in melted butter. Fold 1 cup of cherries into the batter gently. Pour in to the pan. Scatter the last .5 cup over the batter.

Dust with regular sugar.

Bake until golden brown and the cake tester comes out clean. This should be 45 – 55 minutes depending on our oven. Wait 20 minutes before unmolding.

You can do this 2 days ahead wrapped in saran at room temp. I have also frozen this successfully.

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December: Almond Ricotta Cheesecake

When I was young my parents would often take us to NYC during  the Christmas holiday vacation. We always stayed with my aunt and uncle on Central Park West. Around the corner from their apartment was a little bakery that made Nesselrode Pie. If I tell you that I have been trying to replicate this recipe for the last umpteenth years I am not joking. You used to be able to buy Nesselrode in a jar. Probably you could find it on Amazon. This is the closest that I have come and I am going to stop here. So far everyone who has tasted it has given it the thumbs up. So try this for the holidays and wow your guests.


Cookie Dough

.5 cup unsalted butter
1 cup sugar
1 egg
.75 tsp vanilla
1.5 cup sifted all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
.25 tsp salt


4 oz cream cheese
4 oz almond paste
1 lb container ricotta, whole milk
.25 cup sugar plus one tablespoon
dash of salt
1 tsp almond extract
4 large eggs
2 oz chocolate chips
1 oz. chopped citron – soak citron in brandy overnight.
1 oz Cognac or Amaretto
.25 cup toasted sliced almonds

9 inch springform pan
Confectioner’s sugar for dusting

I have made this with both Cognac and Amaretto. The Cognac flavor disappears into the cake. The Amaretto leaves a distinct almond finish.

Preheat the overn to 350

Cookie dough crust:  Cream butter and then add sugar and cream thoroughly. Add egg, beat well and then add vanilla. Mix dry ingredients together and add to butter mix. Stir until well blended.  Shape into a flattened ball, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for .5 – 1 hour.

Remove from frig and roll out on a floured board to 14 inch round.

Place in a 9 inch round springform pan, bringing the sides up about 2 inches. Pat into shape.

Be patient doing this. I have often had to roll it a second time as it can split.

Pie filling: Soak the citron and Cognac overnight. Cream the cream cheese and almond paste together until semi-smooth. Add the ricotta, sugar and salt.

Drain brandy, and add citron and almond extract to the cheese mixture. Gradually add eggs and Cognac to the mix.

Fold in the chocolate chips and toasted almonds.

Gently pour the mix  into the prepared crust in the springform pan. Smooth if necessary. Bake in the oven 45 min – 1 hour.  Let cool. Refrigerate overnight. Gently remove the outside of the springform pan and dust with confectioner’s sugar.  Cut thin slices to serve.

Serves 16 – 20.

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