Native blueberries are in season, and cool nights have returned. What a perfect time to bake a blueberry cake!
I turned to a favorite recipe — Blueberry Ricotta Squares — submitted by Gail Arnold for the Greenfield Village School Cookbook, compiled by the PTO of the Greenfield, New Hampshire Elementary School, under the direction of Kris Bregani (my cousin) in 1997.
Over the years I’ve tweaked Gail’s recipe a bit. I’ve swapped out the shortening for butter. I’ve made certain to use low-fat ricotta, and the other day I substituted almond meal for 1/2 the flour, to lower the carbs and increase the protein.
Here’s my most recent version of her recipe.
BLUEBERRY RICOTTA SQUARES
9 generous servings (as a breakfast treat)
12 servings as a dessert
Preheat over to 350° F.
Lightly grease a 9x9x2 cake pan.
1/2 cup unbleached white flour
1/2 cup almond meal
3/4 cup sugar
1-1/4 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/3 c. milk
1/4 cup unsalted butter
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1-1/2 cups fresh blueberries (washed and drained)
1-1/4 cup low-fat ricotta cheese
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 tsp. vanilla
- In a small bowl, combine flour, almond meal, sugar, baking powder, and salt.
- Add milk, butter, egg and vanilla.
- Beat with an electric mixer at low speed until well blended.
- Then beat for one minute on medium speed.
- Pour batter into prepared cake pan and spread evenly.
- Sprinkle blueberries evenly on top of batter.
- Break the remaining two eggs into a mixing bowl [You can re-use the one from the batter.] and beat with a fork.
- Add ricotta, sugar, and vanilla.
- Spoon over blueberries and spread evenly.
- Bake at 350° for 55-60 minutes. Test at 55 minutes; a cake tester inserted at the center should come out clean.
Cool before serving, and store leftovers in the refrigerator. Ricotta Blueberry Squares are delicious warm or cold. They also freeze well if tightly wrapped.
Please remember that any cake is best in moderation. Despite my tweaks, these Blueberry Ricotta Squares are still high in fat and sugar. They are, however, packed with protein from the eggs, ricotta (35 grams), and almond meal (14 grams), making them a perfect once-in-a-while breakfast treat, far better than a cheese Danish.
Have a great week. Eat well.
I often blog on food or food issues on Monday in support of Meatless Monday, one of several programs developed in the Healthy Monday project, founded in 2003 in association with Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and Syracuse University’s Newhouse School of Communications. Meatless Monday’s goal is “to help reduce meat consumption 15% in order to improve personal health and the health of our planet.”