My daughter attends a wonderful middle school. This week is a chance for parents to show our gratitude for this adolescent utopia, by making lunch for the teachers. My husband suggested I make an apple dessert, apples being the traditional teacher gift. I appreciated his sentiment, but didn’t want to use the sorry fruits. After seven lackluster months in cold storage, they no longer taste like anything that has any memory of a tree.
So I decided to change the traditional (I’ve done it, so it’s a tradition now!) teacher offering to raspberry-ricotta cake. This is a slightly less practical and readily available gift, but only slightly.
My friend Kirstin made this cake first, and my family barked and oinked over the slices she shared with us. It’s simple to make, pretty to look at, and what better way (short of airline vouchers) to say thank you for a job well and enthusiastically done?
I generally avoid ricotta, finding it creepy and grainy in texture. But this weird cheese earns its keep here. I recommend baking this for anyone to whom you have been meaning to say “thank you.” Cards are lovely, but cake is love.
And though teachers might not enjoy an overwintered apple, horses are not so discriminating. I was at the horse ranch for my weekly visit, and I fed some substandard specimens to a couple hooved acquaintances. They didn’t look a gift apple in the stem, but rather, set to vigorous, juicy munching and unbridled salivating. They crunched, gobbled, frothed, and nosed through my pockets for more – exactly like those teachers.
P.S. I made a gluten free blueberry version just for kicks, using Bob’s Red Mill 1 to 1 baking flour. In truth, I let my children take two pieces from the raspberry one before I took it to the school, and so I felt like I had to make it up with extra cake.