Bay Nut Ricotta Cake

A lovely use of foraged and roasted bay nuts

Bay Nut Ricotta Cake

Here’s the deal: everyone likes coffee and chocolate. Okay, so that may not be entirely true, but who are we kidding? I probably don’t want to associate with those individuals anyway.

For those of us with *good* taste, the knowledge that there is a local edible (the bay nut) easily foraged that, when roasted, produces a flavor that can be likened to a combination of coffee and (bitter) chocolate is mind blowing. Now think about taking that amazing ingredient and adding it to a ricotta cheesecake - yes, pretty amazing. This brings us to the bay nut ricotta cake. 

A graham cracker crust also works, but doesn’t have the same rustic qualities as chestnut or buckwheat flour.

Crust Ingredients

  • 1 cup chestnut or buckwheat flour
  • 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 1-2 tablespoons roasted bay nuts, finely ground
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest
  • 7 tablespoons butter
  • 1-2 tablespoons cold milk or water

Filling Ingredients

  • 16 oz carton ricotta cheese
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup roasted bay nuts, coarsely ground
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 2 teaspoons juice from an orange (optional)

Topping Ingredients

  • 8 oz. sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350. Mix flours, 1/3 cup sugar, salt, 1-2 tablespoons bay nuts, and zest. Cut in butter, mix until pea-sized crumbs. Add water or milk until dough comes together when pressed, but is not too wet. Press into greased 9” springform pan and bake for 10-15 minutes until browned. Remove from oven and cool.

Blend filling ingredients until thoroughly mixed. Pour onto cooled shell, bake in oven for about 40-50 minutes, until cake is set and jiggles only slightly. You make need to cover with foil if top gets too brown. 

Remove from oven and let stand for 15-20 minutes while you mix together the topping ingredients. Spread out topping mixture and put back in the oven for another 10 minutes. Remove and cool until served.