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Avocado Ricotta Pound Cake

I’ve been using ripe avocados more and more in my baking lately – as a matter of necessity as they go ripe in my fruit bowl before I have a chance to use them. Mashed overripe avocado blends well into all kinds of baked goods – think of it like adding a mashed banana – lending healthy fats and other nutrients as well as moisture to the finished product. Here’s a recipe for a dense, moist pound cake that actually calls for avocado – paired with mellow ricotta cheese, the result is a pretty, pale pistachio green loaf that’s perfect for the holidays.

To get the flesh out of an avocado half, score it, then scoop it out with a spoon.

Avocado Ricotta Pound Cake

3/4 cup mashed pulp of a ripe avocado from Mexico

1/2 cup ricotta or requesón cheese, at room temperature

1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, softened

1-1/4 cups sugar

3 eggs

2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice

1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons lime zest

2 tablespoons pumpkin seeds

Confectioners’ sugar, to taste

Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter an 8 x 4-inch loaf pan and cover the bottom with parchment paper cut to size. In a mixer at medium speed, beat the avocado until smooth and buttery. Add ricotta and butter; mix until fluffy. Add the sugar; beat until incorporated. Add the eggs, one at time, beating well after each addition; add lime juice and mix well.

In a bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt; add 1/2-cup at a time, to the avocado mixture, stirring just to mix after each addition. Stir in lime zest. Scrape batter into prepared pan and smooth top; sprinkle with pumpkin seeds.

Lay a sheet of parchment paper over the pan. Bake until golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 60-70 minutes. Allow to cool 15 minutes before removing from pan. Sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar to serve.

YIELD: 1 loaf; 10 slices

*Courtesy of Chef Pati Jinich of Pati’s Mexican Table on PBS

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