Smile this Christmas with a Ricotta Citrus Upside Down Cake

As I had mentioned in my meringues post, this holiday season, I’ve been looking for festive but not necessarily screaming CHRISTMAS, so when I stumbled on a citrus ricotta upside down cake recipe, I knew I had to make it.

Ricotta Citrus Cake Citrus
Slices of citrus for the top of the cake.
Ricotta Citrus Cake Crumble
Crumble for the bottom of the cake.

Now, I’m not going to lie, the citrus that goes on top of the cake can be time consuming, but the end result is so pretty, it’s worth it.

Ricotta Citrus Cake Big

The inside of the cake is moist, light and delicious. The ricotta gives it a pleasant tangyness that holds up really well against the sweet and acidic burst from the clementines and lemons.

Candied Citrus
1 1/2 cups of sugar
1 1/2 cups of water
1 clementine
1 lemon
1 navel orange

Crumb Topping
4 tablespoons butter, melted
1/2 cups flour
1/4 cups sugar
1/4 teaspoons salt

Ricotta Cake
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1 cup of sugar
1 1/2 cups of flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoons orange zest
1 tablespoons of orange juice
2 eggs
1 cups of ricotta

To candy the citrus, combine the 1½ c sugar and 1½ c water in a large saute pan. Heat over medium heat until the sugar is dissolved.

In the meantime, slice the citrus into very thin slices. When the sugar syrup has come to a simmer, drop in the slices. Set heat to medium low and just barely simmer for about 1 hour, stirring occasionally, until the slices are translucent. Turn off the heat and allow to cool.

To make the crumb topping, stir together the melted butter, flour, sugar and salt until crumbly. Set aside.

To make the cake, preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Butter a 9-inch round cake pan. Dot with 4 tablespoons butter, cut into pieces. Arrange the candied citrus in concentric circles over the bottom of the pan starting with smaller slices and working up to larger ones. Reserve the simple syrup for another use (cocktail anyone?).

Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. In a large bowl, beat 1/2 cup of butter and cup sugar with a mixer on medium speed until pale and fluffy, about 10 minutes. Beat in zest and juice. Beat in eggs, 1 at a time, until incorporated, scraping down sides of bowl. Beat in flour mixture in 3 additions, alternating with ricotta, until smooth. Drop with dollops over the citrus slices and spread evenly. Crumble the crumb topping evenly over batter.

Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 1 hour. Let cool for 10 minutes. Run a knife around edge of cake, and invert onto a wire rack. Let cool completely before serving.

Yield: 12 cake slices

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