Pour the melted butter in a 9x13 casserole dish and layer in 6 slices of bread. Sprinkle on half of the sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cardamom. Layer on remaining slices of bread.
In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, ricotta, salt, vanilla, and lemon zest and pour it on. Sprinkle with remaining sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cardamom.
Cover and refrigerate overnight.
Bake covered at 350ºf for 30 minutes, and then uncovered for 15 minutes, until browned.
Top with berries and powdered sugar and serve alongside an 8-ounce glass of milk!
Note: You can also arrange the bread slices in an 8x12 casserole dish, sprinkling each slice with some of the sugar and spices before lining them up domino style. The custard won’t get as evenly distributed (the top parts will be a little crisper and the bottom will be super custardy), but it looks cool!!!
550 calories; 18 g fat; 8 g saturated fat; 180 mg cholesterol; 25 g protein; 71 g carbohydrates; 0 g fiber; 770 mg sodium; 430 mg calcium (45% of daily value). Nutrition figures based on using part skim ricotta and include an 8-ounce glass of lowfat milk.