A staple during Naples’ Carnival festivities, Migliaccio is the region’s rustic semolina and lemon cake which is made rich and moist with the ricotta.

Ingredients:
3 oranges – 3 lemons – 500 ml (2 cups) milk
40 g (1.5oz) butter – 1 vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped
200 g (7oz) durum wheat semolina (fine semolina)
220 g (1 cup) caster sugar – 4 eggs
350 g (12oz)well-drained ricotta – Icing sugar, for dustingUsing a wide vegetable peeler, remove the rind from 2 of the oranges and lemons.
Using a small sharp knife, remove any of the bitter white pith. Place the milk and 500 ml (2 cups) water in a large saucepan along with the citrus peel, butter, and vanilla seeds and bring to a gentle simmer.
Whisking continuously, slowly pour in the semolina and whisk for 2-3 minutes or until the mixture is thick and smooth. Spread the mixture over a shallow tray and allow it to cool. Once cool, remove the citrus peel.

Preheat the oven to 180°C. Grease a 20 cm square cake tin and line with baking paper, leaving the sides overhanging.

Finely grate the rind from the remaining orange and lemon. Whisk the sugar and eggs in a large bowl. Add the ricotta and beat until smooth. Add the cooled semolina mixture along with the finely grated zest and whisk until well combined.
Pour into the prepared tin and bake for 1 hour. The surface will crack a little, creating its characteristic pattern and the middle will feel jiggly. Remove from the oven and stand in the tin to cool for at least 1 hour. As it cools down it will flatten slightly.

To serve, dust with icing sugar and cut into small pieces. It keeps really well at room temperature for a few days (it’s actually better the next day) and in the fridge although the texture will change slightly. Tightly wrapped it freezes well too.

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