A cornmeal ricotta upside-down cake with a missing slice on a plate next to it.

Cornmeal-Ricotta Upside-Down Cake from Elisabeth Prueitt's Tartine Bakery

Try baking this Cornmeal-Ricotta Upside-Down Cake from Elisabeth Prueitt's Tartine Bakery for your next bake sale.

1 min read

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Elisabeth says: Despite my affection for cornmeal, I often find that cakes made with it tend to be on the dry side. This recipe is inspired by one that uses ricotta and bakes at a low temperature, creating a cake reminiscent of a cheesecake. The cake lends itself to fruit toppings, baked at the bottom of the pan, the best being thinly sliced oranges, which cook to a marmalade consistency. Depending on the season, use any fruit suited for upside-down toppings. Peaches, apricots, and blueberries would be especially good in combination with the corn.

Good tip: Slice the oranges paper-thin, so that when heated in the layer of sugar syrup, they soften and slice well when cool. In addition to oranges (Valencia, navel, or Cara Cara), blood oranges and tangerines would also work just as well. Of course, remove any seeds before baking.

Cornmeal-Ricotta Upside-Down Cake


Preheat the oven to 325°F/165°C. Line the bottom of a 10-in/25cm springform pan with 3-in/7.5cm sides with parchment paper cut to fit exactly. Butter the sides of the pan.
In a small bowl, mix the brown sugar or granulated sugar and water together to form a paste and then spread it across the bottom of the pan. Arrange the orange slices on top of the sugar paste, overlapping them with one in the center. Try to cover as much of the bottom of the pan as possible; the slices will shrink slightly during baking.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar on medium-high speed until light and creamy, about 1 minute.
Add the yolks one at a time to the butter mixture beating well after each addition. Add the ricotta, lemon zest, lemon juice, and salt. Beat to combine.
Mix the cornmeal and almond flour into the egg-ricotta mixture. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula.
In another bowl, whisk the reserved egg whites to soft peaks. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold the beaten whites into the cake batter just until no white streaks are visible. (The batter will be very thick.) Immediately turn the batter into the prepared pan, smoothing the top with a spatula.
Bake for 30 to 45 minutes, until the top of the cake is no longer shiny. Let the cake cool in the pan on a wire rack for 15 minutes. To unmold, run a butter knife around the sides of the pan to loosen the cake and then release and lift off the pan sides. Invert the cake, remove the pan bottom, peel off the parchment, and serve.
The cake will keep, well wrapped, for up to 4 days at room temperature or about 1 week in the refrigerator.

Reprinted with permission from Tartine All Day: Modern Recipes for the Home Cook by Elisabeth Prueitt, © 2017


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