Fratelli Perata Winery

Ricotta Orange Pound Cake with Strawberries

Lucky us, our long-time friends, the Mariola’s, have a great knowledge of the good things in life. They forwarded this recipe, along with the cake, and we awarded it a gold medal. With strawberries available most of the year, and especially good with summer coming up, this is a keeper. Think Merlot, eat cake.

1 1/2 cup cake flour
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp kosher salt
3/4 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus some to grease the pan
scant 1 1/2 cup whole milk ricotta cheese
1 1/2 cup sugar, plus 1 Tablespoon
3 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
Zest from 1 orange, which will probably stick to the beaters, so scrape back into the mixture
tsp almond extract (or 2 Tbsp Amaretto)
1 pint strawberries, hulled and quartered

Oven to 350 degrees (if using a dark pan, reduce temperature to 325 degrees). Grease a 9 by 5 inch loaf pan with butter.
In a medium bowl combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. Stir to combine.

Using an electric mixer, cream together the butter, ricotta and 1 1/2 cup sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. With the machine running, add the eggs one at a time. Add the vanilla, orange zest and almond extract until combined. Add the dry ingredients, a small amount at a time, until just incorporated. Pour mixture into pan, bake about 45-50 minutes, or until toothpick tests clean and cake begins to pull from the sides of the pan. Let cool in pan 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

While baking, place strawberries and 1 tablespoon sugar in bowl. The berries will begin to juice.

To serve, slice the cake and serve topped with a spoonful of strawberries and juice.