Lemon Thyme Ricotta Poundcake
Perfect for dessert or afternoon tea
I took inspiration for this from lemon ricotta pancakes - and if you’ve never added ricotta to a pancake recipe you don’t know what you’re missing. Ricotta, just like yogurt adds moisture to a bread or cake recipe ricotta however, has a lighter flavor and allows the lemon and thyme to shine through in this poundcake. It will work perfectly as a dessert or an addition to your afternoon tea. I hope you enjoy this as much as I do.
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus more to grease the baking pan
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 1/2 cups whole-milk ricotta cheese
1 1/2 cups plus 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
zest of 1 to 2 lemons
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
3 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves
Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Grease a 9-by-5-by-3-inch loaf pan or 3 three mini loaf pans with butter (grease pans very well).
In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt and whisk together.
Using a mixer, cream the butter, ricotta and granulated sugar until blended, about 3 minutes — I never really go over three minutes, and it’s ok if there are some visible pieces of butter. In other words, the batter will not look entirely smooth. With the machine running, add the eggs 1 at a time. Add the vanilla, lemon zest and juice, and thyme and mix until combined. Add the dry ingredients, a small amount at a time, until just incorporated.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake until a toothpick comes out clean and the cake pulls away from the sides of the pan, 50 to 60 minutes (or 5 to 10 additional minutes — cover loosely with foil if top is getting too brown) for standard loaf pan and 40 to 45 minutes for mini pans. (Note: Times might vary dramatically depending on the type of pan you are using. If you are using Pyrex or some other glass or ceramic loaf pan, the loaves might take an hour or an hour and 15 minutes to bake. If you notice the top browning too much before the cake is finished, cover it loosely with a sheet of aluminum foil.)
Let cool in the pan for about 15 minutes, then run a knife around the edges of the pan(s) and transfer loaf/loaves to a rack to cool completely.
Make a glaze by mixing a cup of powdered sugar with a teaspoon of lemon juice and a tablespoon of thyme leaves. If the glaze is too thick with just a teaspoon of juice add a little more until it is a pourable consistency but not too liquid. Drizzle over the loaves - you can also poke some small holes in the loaves with a toothpick or skewer so the glaze and seep into the poundcake.