Crumb cake and more pluots

Hi friends, happy weekend! I wish it was the beginning of it and not the end, but at least there’s a long weekend upcoming.

I have a cake for you today! Cakes feel few and far between around here, but I stumbled on this recipe and had to try it. I had stashed some ricotta in the freezer awhile back (not the best for its texture if you’re going to eat it plain, but if you’re baking with it, it’s fair game!) and wanted to pair it with the stone fruit that is all I want these days.

This cake is a pleasantly dense, nutty little thing – I think of it as a breakfast or brunch cake; something that is perfect alongside coffee. It does well served warm out of the oven, or chilled for a couple of hours in the fridge (my favorite, since the chilled cake texture is amazing).

The whole thing is very lightly sweet – there are only two tablespoons of maple in the entire thing, so the almondy dough and fruit flavors can really shine. It’s whole grain and infinitely adaptable – don’t have pluots? No problem – sub in figs, peaches, nectarines, plums, or any other fruit that catches your fancy. I think any berries would be excellent here, and I’m dying to try it with fresh figs – we’re almost into peak fig season here on the west coast!

We had it for brunch this morning – post workout and pre hiking (me) and cycling (him). Exercise nerds? Yeah, we are.

I got a new wetsuit and I’m SO excited about it – I was swimming without one the last week or so but I really love having one for my morning swims – it’s just so much more pleasant in the bay with one on, ha! This one is sleeveless, which is clutch. Not having anything over my shoulders is amazing.

my favorite swimming conditions – calm and foggy

Not a whole ton going on in other news – just cruising along into September (birthday month!) and crossing my fingers for no excessively hot weather in SF because we just know how much I looooove that, ha NOT.

I hope everyone out there had a good weekend! Sending good thoughts from my kitchen for good weeks all around.

Tuscan Ricotta Crumb Cake with Pluots and Blackberries

A pleasantly dense, lightly sweet breakfast cake – or dessert – but really excellent with coffee. Yield: one 7″ cake, serves several with small wedges. Refined sugar free and whole grain; easily gluten free with a cup for cup flour blend. Recipe gratefully adapted from Jules’ Kitchen, here!

For the dough:
1 c whole wheat pastry flour
1/4 c shredded coconut
2 oz almond flour
1/2 tbsp baking powder
1/4 tsp sea salt
2.5 tbsp unsalted butter, cold & diced into small cubes
1 tbsp pure maple syrup
1/2 tbsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp almond extract
1 egg, beaten

For the filling:
1 c whole milk ricotta (drained if especially runny)
zest of one lemon
1 tbsp maple
1 tsp vanilla extract
heaping handful of fresh blackberries
4 small pluots

Preheat the oven to 350, and grease a 7” cake pan with butter (alternatively, a 6 or 8” would also work – just adjust the bake time up or down accordingly) Line the greased pan with parchment paper and set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together pastry flour, coconut, almond flour, baking powder, and sea salt. Work the diced butter into the dry ingredients with your fingers or a pastry cutter until it resembles coarse sand. Add maple, vanilla, and almond, followed by the beaten egg. Use your fingers or a fork to work the egg into the dough – it doesn’t need to come together into a ball, it just needs to stick together when you press it with your fingers. Press half the dough into the cake pan to form the bottom layer.

In a large bowl, whisk together ricotta, lemon zest, vanilla, and maple. Spread the filling over the bottom crust, and top with blackberries and sliced pluots. Sprinkle the rest of the crumble topping over the fruit and ricotta.

Bake for 35-40 minutes – the topping should be lightly browned. Remove and let cool in the pan for at least ten minutes, then lift it out onto a cooling rack to cool completely. Slice and serve warm, or chill in the fridge for a few hours before serving. Store leftovers in the fridge for 1-2 days.

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