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Thursday, October 27, 2011

Apple Ricotta Coffee Cake

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I often find myself with leftover ricotta on hand. The same goes for buttermilk. I've since found uses for leftover buttermilk, such as chocolate fudge drops and gorgonzola smashed potatoes, which takes care of my obsessive need to use up ingredients before they spoil in my fridge. Ricotta, however, has left me stumped. After buying some ricotta for a recipe I'll share with you in the next few days, I wasn't sure how to use up the remainder of the container...until I stumbled upon this coffee cake recipe.

This apple ricotta coffee cake reminded me a lot of this cinnamon apple cake which uses cream cheese in the batter. I can't choose a favorite between the two, but I can tell you that this cake reminded me more of a apple crumb pie than a coffee cake. I reduced the sugar by half from the original recipe and used some whole wheat pastry flour so the cake itself isn't too sweet, but the gooey apple filling and the streusel topping will easily convince you you're eating dessert for breakfast.

Save your oatmeal and egg whites for Monday through Friday and break this out on the weekends and holidays! You deserve it ;)
How do you use up your leftover ricotta? I need ideas!

One Year Ago: Chicken, Black Bean, and Goat Cheese Tostados
Two Years Ago: Creamy Sweet Potato and Kale Soup (to be rephotographed soon because we make this frequently, a favorite in our household!) 

Apple Ricotta Coffee Cake
from about.com

-2 apples, peeled, cored, and chopped
-1 cup all-purpose flour
-3/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour (or another 3/4 cup all-purpose flour)
-3/4 tsp baking powder
-1/2 tsp baking soda
-1/4 tsp salt
-1/2 cup butter, at room temperature
-1/2 cup granulated sugar
-1 tsp vanilla
-2 eggs
-1 cup ricotta cheese

for the streusel-
-2/3 cup packed brown sugar
-1/2 cup all-purpose flour
-1/2 cup oats
-1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
-1/4 tsp salt
-4 tbsp butter, cut into small pieces
-1/2 cup pecans, chopped

1. Preheat oven to 350F. Grease a 9-inch springform pan with butter and dust with flour (or use the cooking spray that comes with flour in it).
2. In the bowl of a food processor, combine all streusel ingredients (not the butter or the pecans). Add butter and pulse for 5-10 seconds at a time until no large lumps of butter remain. Set aside.
3. Peel and chop apples and set aside.
4. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat 1/2 cup butter for about 30 seconds. Beat in sugar and vanilla. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
5. In a separate bowl, mix flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add flour mixture and ricotta to batter alternately. Mix on low speed after each addition until combined (note: batter will be thick).
6. Spread half of the batter into the bottom of the pan, spreading to cover the pan. Sprinkle with 1/2 of the streusel and then the diced apples. Spoon remaining batter over apples, using your fingers or a spatula to carefully spread (it does not need to be perfect, just try to cover most of it). Top with remaining streusel and nuts.
7. Bake 45-50 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool at least one hour on a wire rack before serving. Wrap well and keep at room temperature for 3 days.