This weekend, I had a special friend, Rachel, over for lunch. Someone, who recently has inspired me to not only do what's comfortable, but to stretch and reach into that creative nook that rests sleepily inside of me. With having to "get it together" in so many facets of my life, sometimes I forget the fulfillment that comes from attempting to create, even if the end result isn't quite at the caliber that I wish it to be if I had spent more time nurturing the few artsy sparks that flicker around. I need to learn to not ignore those moments, but the better strategy may be actually making the space in my life to kindle the fire.
Making space means creating an environment where it doesn't seem like a hassle to do something creative. I equate this to the feeling I have when I am alone and hungry. Often, I think it most easy to go to a nearby drive thru or better yet, reheat some leftovers, and call it a meal because it's too much work to cook up a storm. When I'm in a good place and want to entertain friends, I like to make something home made to share. Even if it that means that I have to pull everything out of the cupboard to look for a specific vintage cake pan from my ever growing collection. Even if it means I have to put it all away when I find the item I need way in the back corner. Even if it looks from my kitchen like I got robbed. Maybe that's why I need to surround myself with people that inspire me. It makes me think life is worth the mess.
I was looking for the #221 Flamingo Pink Pyrex cake pan I bought five years ago on craigslist from Carolyn who now is a dear friend because she shares so many of my interests. I still remember driving to go pick up my Pyrex at her house in South Minneapolis. I even coordinated with Jessica to come a long for back up. Just in case. After all, it is craigslist!
So sometimes my hobbies amalgamate nicely. I like to cook. I like cooking with vintage bake ware. I like presenting friends with the things I've made in my vintage bake ware.
If you happen to have the #221 Pyrex cake pan, this recipe fits nicely into it. The cake didn't rise too much and I thought the blackberries looked lovely in the hot pink Pyrex cake pan!
Blackberry Ricotta Cake
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
3 large eggs
15 oz Trader Joe's ricotta
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
1 cup frozen blackberries, divided
zest of medium lemon
juice from half of the lemon
Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a #221 size Pyrex cake pan with parchment paper and lightly coat with nonstick spray. I used leftover butter, to butter up the sides.
Whisk eggs, ricotta, and vanilla in a Pyrex 404/444 or medium bowl bowl until smooth, add zest and lemon juice; fold into dry ingredients just until blended. Then fold in butter, followed by 3/4 cup blackberries, taking care not to crush berries. Scrape batter into prepared pan and place remaining 1/4 cup blackberries over top.
Bake cake until golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 50–60 minutes. Let cool at least 20 minutes before removing from the cake pan.
Do ahead: Cake can be made 2 days ahead. Store tightly wrapped at room temperature.