From Charlie Palmer’s Practical Guide to the New American Kitchen


  • 1 ¾ c cake flour
  • 1 t salt
  • 1 c (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 c granulated sugar
  • Grated zest of 1 orange
  • 4 large eggs
  • ½ t pure vanilla extract
  • 3 c fresh ricotta or farmer’s cheese
  • Fresh nectarines, peaches, or plums, cut in wedges
  • Honey (try something different—acacia or chestnut)
  • Freshly ground black pepper


Preheat the oven to 350°F. Butter an 8 x 4-inch loaf pan. Sift together the flour and salt; set aside. Using an electric mixer, cream together the butter, sugar, and orange zest until smooth, then beat until creamy and pale in color, 7 to 10 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the vanilla.  Add the flour mixture in three parts, beat¬ing after each addition until incorporated. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for about 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool the cake in the pan on a rack for 15 minutes, then turn it out to cool completely.

To Serve
Cut thick slices of the poundcake and toast them. Top each slice with a good dol¬lop of fresh ricotta and some fruit. Drizzle honey over the ricotta and fruit and give each plate a few cracks of black pepper.