To quickly bring eggs to room temperature, place them in a bowl of warm water for a few minutes.
Make sure your baking powder is fresh! Baking powder older than 6 months tends to go flat.
1 Preheat oven to 325°F (160°C). Prepare a 9x5-inch loaf pan, smearing the inside with butter.
2 Whisk the dry ingredients: In a medium bowl, vigorously whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt.
2 Toss blueberries with flour: Rinse the blueberries and toss them with a little flour to lightly coat them (this will help keep them from sinking to the bottom of the cake).
3 Mix wet ingredients and sugar for batter: Use an electric mixer (you can mix by hand but will get better results if you use an electric mixer) to beat together the butter, ricotta, and sugar, on high speed, for 3 minutes, until pale and fluffy.
Add the eggs one at a time, mixing on medium speed for one minute after each addition.
Mix in the lemon zest and vanilla extract. Don't worry if the batter looks a little curdled at this point. It isn't curdled; it just looks that way.
4 Add dry ingredients, then blueberries: Remove the bowl from the mixer and stir in the dry ingredients in 3 or 4 additions, until just incorporated. Do not over mix. Stir in the blueberries.
5 Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan, smoothing out the top with a rubber spatula. Place on a baking sheet on the middle oven rack of the oven. (This will help moderate the temperature at the bottom of the pan.)
6 Bake: Bake at 325°F (160°C) for 1 hour 10 minutes to 1 hour 20 minutes, or until a tester inserted into the center comes out mostly clean, or if you press on the center with your fingers and lift up, the cake surface gently bounces back.
After the first 40 minutes of baking you may want to put a sheet of aluminum foil over the top of the pan to keep it from browning further.
7 Cool: Remove from oven and let cool for 15 minutes in the pan. Then run a dull knife around the edge of the cake to make sure it is separated from the pan.
Gently remove the cake from the pan and let cool completely on a wire rack. Let cook completely before slicing.
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