Pear-Ricotta-Almond Cake (Torta Pere, Ricotta e Mandorle)

I tried this new idea for a cake on Sunday for a dinner party with my parents, and it was a big success! I had seen a recipe for a pear cake using ricotta instead of butter on GialloZafferano.it, and since pears and almonds are a good combination I thought I’d enrich it with almonds. It came out great: not too sweet, fresh and fruity, relatively light but not dry. And very easy to make if you don’t mind peeling some pears.

Ingredients

For 8 generous slices from a 24 cm (9″) springform pan

500 grams (1.1 lbs) ripe but firm pears

250 grams (9 oz) ricotta

125 grams (4.5 oz) blanched almonds

125 grams (4.5 oz) flour

125 grams (4.5 oz) vanilla-scented sugar (obtained by storing vanilla beans in the sugar)

3 eggs

15 grams (1/2 oz) baking powder

1 lemon (preferably organic)

pinch of salt

1 tsp almond extract

confectioner’s sugar

Preparation

Grate the zest of the lemon and set aside. Peel the pears, remove the core and cut into cubes. Sprinkle the cubes lightly with lemon juice to prevent them from turning brown.

Toast the almonds for 10 minutes in the oven at 160C/320F. Grind them in the food processor until fine. Add flour, sugar, lemon zest, eggs, pinch of salt, ricotta, baking powder and almond extract. Process until smooth. (In a Magimix this works fine without getting lumps. If your food processor is not as strong, it is better to add ingredients one by one and sieve the flour before adding.)

Butter and flour the springform pan. Mix the pear cubes with the batter and pour into the pan. Smooth the top with a spatula.

Bake for 50-70 minutes at 180C/350F until a tester comes out clean. Cover the top with aluminum foil if the cake starts to turn too dark.

Let cool to room temperature before serving. Sprinkle with confectioner’s sugar.

Wine pairing

This is great with an Italian dessert wine that is not too sweet, especially Moscato d’Asti.

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7 thoughts on “Pear-Ricotta-Almond Cake (Torta Pere, Ricotta e Mandorle)

    1. I like her blog. Perhaps you can get her to cook it for you? She might have to use buffalo’s milk ricotta (more expensive and harder to get) if lactose intolerance is an issue…

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  1. This cake looks so authentically Italian – and so moist and dense in the most gorgeous way. The almond extract and pear are such a beautiful pair. When we lived in Cleveland, we frequented Little Italy. There was a lovely little pastry shop that served a cake made from ricotta that looks very similar to this. Your post brings back good memories. 🙂

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