for 8 portions
1 cup of water (240 ml)
1 cup granulated sugar (200 g)
1 lemon, cut into thin slices, about 9 slices
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature, divided, plus 1 tablespoon
1 cup flour (125 g), divided, plus 3 tablespoons
1 ¼ cups granulated sugar (250 g)
4 large eggs, room temperature
½ teaspoon lemon extract
2 teaspoons lemon zest, packed, divided
½ cup stone ground yellow corn flour(75 g)
2 ½ teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup whole milk ricotta cheese (250 g), room temperature
2 tablespoons powdered sugar
4 strawberries, cut into thin strips
¼ cup blueberry (25 g)
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Prepare the candied lemons: In a large, high-walled saucepan, mix the sugar and water. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar.
Add the lemon slices to the pan, making sure they are immersed in the syrup. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until the lemons have softened and begin to caramelize, about 35 minutes.
Carefully transfer the lemon slices to the prepared baking sheet and let cool completely, about 20 minutes. Candied lemons can be prepared up to 2 days ahead. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator and bring to room temperature before using. (The syrup can be filtered, cooled and stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. Try adding it to cocktails and desserts).
Prepare the cake: Place a rack in the middle of the oven. Preheat the oven at 350˚F (180˚C). Grease a 9-inch (23 cm) non-stick springform pan with 1 tablespoon of butter. Add 3 tablespoons of flour to the greased pan and tilt to coat completely. Turn pan over and pat excess flour off. Set aside.
In a large bowl, beat the remaining butter with an electric hand mixer at high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. While the mixer is running, add the sugar and beat until evenly incorporated, about 3 minutes. Reduce the speed of the mixer to medium-low and add the eggs, one at a time, making sure to fully incorporate each one before adding the next. Add the lemon extract and 1 teaspoon of lemon zest. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the remaining flour, cornmeal, baking powder and salt.
Add the wet ingredients to the flour mixture and whisk until the dough is smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl if necessary. Add the ricotta and stir until well blended, but do not over mix.
Place the prepared pan on a baking sheet. Pour the batter into the pan and use a spatula to smooth the top.
Bake for 45 minutes, or until the sides and top of the cake are golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean.
Transfer the cake to a wire rack and let cool for at least 45 minutes. When the cake begins to loosen from the sides of the pan, release the springform pan. Using a large metal spatula, gently transfer the cooled cake to a cake tray.
Sprinkle the top of the cake with powdered sugar. Cover with the strawberries, blueberries and lemon slices and sprinkle with the remaining teaspoon of lemon zest.