The neat rows of shiny strawberries bring to mind the local strawberry patch. When making this cake, keep in mind that the yogurt used in the filling needs to drain for 4 hours ahead of time.
Make Ahead Tip: Cover and refrigerate for up to 1 day.
- For the Pound Cake:
- 1 1/2 cups cake flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 can (16 ounces) pear halves in light syrup, drained
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar, divided
- 1/2 cup buttermilk
- 1 tablespoon canola oil
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 teaspoons freshly grated lemon zest
- 1 large egg, separated
- 1 large egg white
- For the Filling:
- 1 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
- 1 cup nonfat vanilla yogurt, drained for 4 hours in a cheesecloth-lined sieve in the refrigerator
- 1 1/2 teaspoons freshly grated orange zest
- 2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar
- 1/2 cup strawberry preserves
- 4 pints small strawberries, hulled
For the Pound Cake:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Lightly oil a 9-inch square pan or coat it with nonstick cooking spray. Dust with flour, shaking out the excess.
Sift cake flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda into a bowl and set aside.
Puree pears in a food processor or blender. Transfer to a large bowl. Melt butter over medium heat in a small saucepan. Cook, swirling the pan, until the butter turns a light brown, about 1 minute. Add to the pears, along with 3/4 cup sugar, buttermilk, oil, vanilla, lemon zest and egg yolk; whisk until smooth. Set aside.
Beat the 2 egg whites in the bowl of an electric mixer until soft peaks form. Continue beating and slowly add the remaining 2 tablespoons sugar. Beat until stiff but not dry peaks form.
With a rubber spatula, gently fold the reserved dry ingredients into the pear mixture alternately with the beaten egg whites, making three additions of the dry ingredients and two of the beaten whites. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake for about 30 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Let cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then turn out onto a rack to cool, right-side up.
For the Filling and to Assemble Cake:
Puree ricotta until smooth in a food processor or blender. Add the drained yogurt, orange zest and confectioners’ sugar; blend to mix.
Melt preserves over low heat in a small saucepan. Strain into a small bowl and set aside.
Use a large serrated knife to slice the cake horizontally into 2 layers. Put the bottom layer on a cake plate, cut-side up. Spread a thin layer of ricotta filling (about 1/2 cup) over the bottom layer. Set aside 2 pints of strawberries to garnish the cake. Cut the remaining berries in half lengthwise.
Place a row of strawberry halves, points up and cut sides facing out, on the edge of the bottom layer. (Choose smaller strawberries that are the same height. Trim the base of the strawberries, if needed, to make them all of equal height). Fill the center with strawberry halves, cut sides facing down. Spread the remaining ricotta filling evenly over the strawberries in the center of the cake.
Set the top layer, cut-side down, on the filled cake. Press gently on the cake to level it. Brush a thin layer of strained preserves over the cake. Arrange whole strawberries in rows on top of the cake. Brush the strawberries with the strained preserves.
Recipe reprinted by permission of Publisher. All rights reserved.
nutrition information per serving
384 calories; 6g total fat; 3g total saturated fat; 36mg cholesterol; 270mg sodium; 75g carbohydrates; 4g fiber; 9g protein
These nutrition facts are calculated according to the ingredients listed in this recipe. Any substitutions will change these facts. Although we strive for accuracy, please note that food manufacturers occasionally change their food formulas, which could affect the calculations as shown.
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