Years ago blogger Nicole Cody was traveling through the remote Australian Outback when she stopped to refuel at a roadhouse in the middle of nowhere.
Once inside, she smelt the aroma of what would be the best coffee she has had. The pot of coffee was made by an Italian woman, using the old method of a stovetop espresso machine.
The woman’s son offered her a cup, along with something else – you guessed it – this Sicilian Lemon, Ricotta, and Almond Cake!
Although the woman and her husband spoke little English, she managed to get the recipe from them, which she wrote on the back of an old envelope. It is a recipe she uses to this day and, lucky us, she’s sharing it with us today!
Sicilian Lemon, Ricotta, and Almond Cake Ingredients
- 2 cups ricotta cheese
- 3 large eggs (or 4 small)
- Grated zest of 3 large lemons
- 2 and 1/2 cups almond meal (I used ground whole organic almonds – the texture is still a little coarse, and the skins give a good flavour and texture)
- 3/4 cup sugar (you can cut back to 1/2 if you are not a fan of sweet cakes)
- 1/3 cup flaked almonds
- Optional but good – 2 tablespoons of limoncello
- grated zest of one large lemon
- 1/2 cup lemon juice
- 1/2 cup caster sugar
Instructions To Make Cake
Preheat oven to 160°C/140°C fan forced. Grease and line base of a 20 cm deep round cake pan with baking paper.
1) Place ricotta, eggs, zest, almond meal and sugar in a large bowl. Using an electric mixer, beat until smooth. This only takes a minute or so. Pour into prepared pan. Sprinkle evenly with almonds. Bake for 55 minutes, or until cooked through.
2) Meanwhile, combine lemon juice, zest and extra sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir until sugar dissolves. Simmer for 5 minutes.
3) Use a fine skewer to poke some holes in top of cake. Pour limoncello over cake and then half the hot syrup. Keep extra syrup aside for serving. Syrup will thicken as it cools. Leave cake to stand in tin until cold. (unless serving warm – obviously!)
4) Serve warm or cold, with vanilla ice-cream, natural yogurt and a drizzle of extra syrup. Nicole is a big fan of coconut yogurt with this cake. That’s what is in the pictures above.