Saturday, July 10, 2010

A Berry Fine Dessert

I know many people who, when ordering in a restaurant, will happily forgo the appetizer course in order to save room for dessert. I, however, am not one of them. That's not to say that I don't enjoy a rich chocolate mousse or a slice of my brother-in-law's coconut cake or lemon curd tart every now and then. But truth be told, I'm just as happy to have the cheese course for dessert.  So you can imagine, that when I offered to make dessert for a recent impromptu potluck, my guests were a bit taken aback.

It was a Tuesday, which not only meant that I was likely to find the season's first blueberries and raspberries at the Farmers' market in Copley Square, Boston. but that I might be able to get some of Narragansett Creamery's award-winning ricotta to go with those berries.

The first time I tasted that ricotta was a revelation. It was rich, creamy, slightly tangy. I couldn't wait to savor it in lasagna, with figs and prosciutto, and whipped with honey and berries. The latter was my plan for that evening.

In preparation, I'd found a recipe online at, and made sure I had some of my favorite honey -- from White Gate Farm in Epping, NH.

The recipe couldn't have been easier -- all I had to do was use the food processor to whip the ricotta and the honey together with some sugar and vanilla,  sprinkle a little sugar and lemon juice on the berries, and put them together at the last moment.

The result was heaven -- light and airy, yet full of flavor. It tasted just like I had imagined. And it looked as festive as could be. My guests loved it -- and so did I, because you know what? I got to have the cheese course for dessert after all.

Whipped Ricotta with Honey and Mixed Berries
from Bon Appetit
Makes 6 servings

2 cups whole-milk ricotta cheese (NOTE: If you can find fresh ricotta, which is less grainy than some of the commercial types, use it and omit the cream cheese.)
4 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
4 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons honey
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 cups mixed fresh berries (such as blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, and halved strawberries)
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

1. Blend ricotta, cream cheese (if using), 2 tablespoons sugar, honey, and vanilla in processor until smooth. Transfer to bowl. Cover bowl and refrigerate until ricotta mixture is slightly set, about 2 hours. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Keep refrigerated. Stir before using.)
2. Combine berries, lemon juice and remaining 2 tablespoons sugar in large bowl; toss to coat. Let stand 30 minutes at room temperature.
3. Divide ricotta mixture among 6 wineglasses. Top with berries and serve.

No comments:

Post a Comment