Jill Fergus

I began cooking as a child and feeding family and friends has always been my passion. My kitchen is a busy one. I love to experiment and embrace the kitchen successes along with the accidents. I love to cook and collaborate with friends. I am seasonally driven (I love the farmer's market!), avoid processed foods and focus on whole and organic (mostly plant-based, but not exclusively) choices. In my home, my family has a variety of eating preferences from plant-based, gluten free, refined sugar free to full on omnivore. My goal is to create dishes to please all, either as is or with minor adjustments to the recipe. Where did "Feed the Swimmers" come from? When my kids began swimming competitively and growing into young adults, I realized, even more, how important nutrition is to performance, growth and overall health and emotional well being. Everyone (including the coach during travel meets) would ask "what are you feeding the swimmers?" This has become my mantra whenever I'm in my kitchen cooking for family and the friends I love.



Apple Ricotta Cake with Miso Caramel

Apple Ricotta Cake with Miso Caramel

This cake... whips up so quickly, bakes like a dream and is adored by all! I recommend using a Granny Smith or Crispin- flavorful, tart and sweet. The original recipe is adapted from Food52 (Louisa's Cake). I made this version gluten free, cut back a bit on the sugar and decorated the top with apple slices. And, (the kicker) I topped it with Miso Caramel. This cake whips up quickly and bakes like a dream and is adored by all. I like to throw this together and bake in the evening so everyone wakes up to a wonderful, yet not too decadent breakfast treat! But, don't forget what a wonderful dessert or special treat option this makes when you drizzle Miso Caramel on top.



Best to use a springform pan. I like to line the bottom with a round of parchment. You may also toss the apple slices with some sugar and lemon and arrange them along the bottom and invert before serving for a beautiful sweet finish.  


Apple Ricotta Cake with Miso Caramel



1/2 cup unsalted butter or vegan butter, room temperature

3/4 cup turbinado sugar, plus 2 Tbs

3 large eggs, room temperature

1 tsp vanilla

1 1/4 cup gluten free baking mix (such as: Bob's Red Mill 1:1, Cup4Cup...)

1 pinch salt

1 cup part skim or fresh ricotta

Zest of 1 Lemon plus juice of half

1 Tbs baking powder

1 large Apple, peeled and grated to yield 1 heaping cup. Granny Smith or other tart flavorful apples best

1 apple sliced thin for topping

Confectioners sugar for dusting


1- Preheat oven to 400F

2- Butter a 9" springform pan and line bottoms with round of parchment.

3- Place sliced apples in a bowl and toss with 2 Tbs sugar and a small squeeze of the lemon. Set aside.

4- Cream butter and 3/4 cup sugar until light and fluffy, about 6 minutes.

5- Lower speed and add eggs one at a time until fully incorporated. Add vanilla.

6- By hand, mix in Ricotta, flour, salt, all lemon, baking powder and apple until just incorporated.

7- Place batter in prepared baking dish and lay apple slices on top in circular pattern. Bake for 30 minutes until golden brown and apple edges are caramelized and cake begins to pull away from side of pan.

8- Allow cake to cool on a wire rack for about 10-15 minutes and remove outside of springform. Place a large spatula under the layer of parchment, and slide cake to a large plate. Cool completely and dust With confectioners sugar.


Miso Caramel



1 1/2 cups sugar

1/3 cup water

1 cup heavy cream

3 Tbs White Miso (this may also be used as a glaze for savory dishes- increase to 4 Tbs)


1- In a heavy bottomed saucepan over med/high heat, add sugar and water and stir until melted then bring to a boil. When sugar mixture turn a deep golden brown, remove from heat.

2- Very carefully pour in cream (which will splatter and bubble). Stir to fully combine. Whisk in Miso until fully incorporated. Allow to cool a bit before drizzling over cake, or the spoon your planning to eat it off of.

Store unused portion in a glass jar with lid in the refrigerator.

Caramel may be rewarmed in a double boiler, or microwave in 30 second increments.

Be forewarned- this stuff is impossible to resist.

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